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(^orttell Ittiuctaita Slibrati} 



Peter Stuyvesant, 







~ Geo. D. Black/ 
D ' Colo. 






Entered according to Act of Congress iu the year 1873, 07 

in ttie Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 


It is impossible to understand the very remark 
able character and career of Peter Stuyvesant, the 
last, and by far the most illustrious, of the Dutch 
governors of New Amsterdam, without an acquaint- 
ance with the early history of the Dutch colonies 
upon the Hudson and the Delaware. The Antiqua- 
rian may desire to look more fully into the details 
of the early history of New York. But this brief, 
yet comprehensive narrative, will probably give most 
of the information upon that subject, which the 
busy, general reader can desire. 

In this series of " The Pioneers and Patriots oj 
America" the reader will find, in the " Life of De 
Soto,'' a minute description of the extreme south 
and its inhabitants, when the Mississippi rolled its 
flood through forests which the foot of the white man 
had never penetrated. " Daniel Boone " conducts 
us to the beautiful streams and hunting grounds of 
Kentucky, when the Indian was the sole possessoi 


of those sublime solitudes. In the " Life of Miles 
Standish, the Puritan Captain," we are made familiar 
with that most wonderful of all modern stories, the 
settlement of New England. " Peter Stuyvesant " 
leads us to the Hudson, from the time when its ma- 
jestic waters were disturbed only by the arrowy 
flight of the birch canoe, till European colonization 
had laid there the foundations of one of the most 
flourishing cities on this globe. 

In these Histories the writer has spared no labor 
in gathering all the information in his power, re- 
specting those Olden Times, now passing so rapidly 
into oblivion 




Discovery of the Hudson River. 

The Discovery of America. — Colonies. — The Bay of New York. 

— Description of the Bay. — Voyage of Sir Henry Hudson. 
— Discovery of the Delaware. — The Natives. — The Boat 
Attacked. — Ascending the Hudson. — Escape of the Pris- 
oners. — The Chiefs Intoxicated. — The Return. — The Village 
at Castleton. — The Theft and its Punishment. — The Return 
to England • • 13 


The Progress of Discovery. 

Value of the Territory Discovered. — Fate of Hudson. — The Con- 
spiracy. — Aspect of Manhattan Island. — The Trail which 
has Widened into Broadway. — The Opening Commerce. — 
The Fur Trade.— Visit of the English Man of War.— Ex- 
ploring the Sound. — Commercial Enterprise Receives a New 
Stimulus. — Erection of Forts. — Character of the Fur Trade. 3J 


The Commencement of Colonization. 

The Puritans. — Memorial to the States-General. — Disagreement 
of the English and the Dutch. — Colony on the Delaware. — 
Purchase of Manhattan. — The First Settlement. — An Indian 
Robbed and Murdered. — Description of the Island. — Diplo 
matic Intercourse. — Testimony of De Rassieres. — The P»- 
hoons.— The Disaster at Swaanendael 54 


The Administration of Van Twiller. 


Friendly Relations Restored. — Wouter Van Twiller New Direc- 
tor. — Captain Elkins. — Remonstrance of De Vrees. — Claims 
for the Connecticut. — The Plymouth Expedition. — A Boat's 
Crew Murdered. — Condition of the Colony in 1633. — Emi- 
gration to the Connecticut. — Emigrants from Holland. — 
The Red Rocks.— New Haven Colony Established.— Nat- 
ural. — Indian Remonstrance Against Taxation. — Outrage 
upon the Raritan Indians. — Indian Revenge. . . 77 


War and its Devastations. 

Approaching Hostilities. — Noble Remonstrance. — Massacre ot 
the Natives. — The War Storm. — Noble Conduct of De 
Vrees. — The Humiliation of -Kieft. — Wide-Spread Desola- 
tion. — The Reign of Terror. — State of Affairs at Fort Nas- 
sau. — The Massacre at Stamford. — Memorial of the Select 
Men. — Kieft Superseded by Peter Stuyvesant. . . . too 


Govetmor Stuyvesant, 

New Netherland in 1646. — Early Years of Peter Stuyvesant.— 
Decay of New Amsterdam. — The Germs of a Representative 
Government. — Energetic Administration. — Death of Gover- 
nor Winthrop. — Claims for Long Island. — Arrogance of 
the Governor. — Remonstrance of the Nine Men. — The Pas- 
toral Office. — Boundary Lines. — Increasing Discontent.— 
Division of Parties. — Dictatorial Measures. . . . rj( 


War Between England and Holland. 

Action of the Patroons. — Settlements on the Hudson. — Alarm 
of the Home Government. — Recall of Stuj-vesant. — His E*. 



cape from Humiliation. — Difficulties between England and 
Holland. — The Breaking Out of War. — Directions to Stuy- 
vesant. — The Relations of the Colonies. — Charges Against 
the Dutch Governor. — Their Refutation. — Efforts of Stuy- 
vesant for Peace. — Noble Conduct of the Massachusetts 
Government. — The Advocates for War 144 


Another Indian War. 

Conflict Between the Governor and the Citizens. — Energy of the 
Governor. — His Measures of Defence. — Action of the Eng- 
lish Colony. — Claims of the Government of Sweden. — Fort 
Casimir Captured by the Swedes. — Retaliation. — Measures 
for the Recapture of Fort Casimir. — Shooting a Squaw. — Its 
Consequences. — The Ransom of Prisoners. — Complaints of 
the Swedish Governor. — Expedition from Sweden. — Its Fate. 167 


An Energetic Administration. 

New Amsterdam in 1656. — Religious Intolerance. — Persecution 
of the Waldenses. — The New Colony on South River. — 
Wreck of the Prince Maurice. — The Friendly Indians. — 
Energetic Action of the Governor. — Persecution of the 
Quakers. — Remonstrance from Flushing. — The Desolation 
of Staten Island. — Purchase of Bergen. — Affairs at Esopus. 
— The Indian Council. — Generosity of the Indians. — New 
Amstel. — Encroachments of the English I9: 


The Esopus War. 

Outrage at Esopus. — New Indian War. — Its Desolations. — Suffer- 
ings of Both Parties. — Wonderful Energies of the Governor 
— Difficulties of his Situation. — The Truce. — Renewal of 
the V/ar. — The Mohawks. — The Controversy with Mass*- 



chusetts.— Indian Efforts for Peace.— The Final Settlement. 
— Claims of the English Upon the Delaware. — Renewed 
Persecution of the Quakers . . 213 


The Disastrous Year. 

Purchase of Staten Island. — The Restoration of Charles Second. 
— Emigration Invited. — Settlement of Bushwick. — The Pe- 
culiar People. — Persecution of John Brown. — The Governor 
Rebuked. — Cumulation of Disasters. — The Outbreak at 
Esopus. — The Panic. — Measures of the Governor. — The In- 
dian Fort. — The Expedition to Mamaket. — Capture of the 
Fort. — Annihilation of the Esopus Indians. . . , 234 


Encroachments of the English. 

Annihilation of the Esopus Tribe. — The Boundary Question.— 
Troubles on Long Island. The Dutch and English Vil- 
lages. — Petition of the English. — Embarrassments of Gov- 
ernor Stuyvesant. — Embassage to Hartford. — The Repulse. 
— Peril of Nev? Netherland. — Memorial to the Fatherland. 
.—New Outbreak on Long Island. — ^John Scott and his High- 
handed Measures. — Strengthening the Fortifications. . . 257 


Hostile Measures Commerued. 

John Scott and his Movements. — Losses of the Dutch. — The First 
General Assembly. — Action of the Home Government. — 
Peace with the Indians. — Arrest of John Scott. — Governor 
Winthrop's Visit to Long Island. — Sailing of the Fleet.— 
Preparations for War. — The False Dispatches. — Arriv'. of 
the Fleet. — The Summons to Surrender. . . . ajg 



The Capture of New Amsterdam. 


Tb? Approach of the Fleet. — The Governor Unjustly Censured. 
— The Flag of Truce. — The Haughty Response. — The Re- 
monstrance. — The Defenceless City. — The Surrender. — The 
Expedition to the Delaware. — Sack and Plunder. — Change , 
of Name. — Testimony to the Dutch Government. — Death 
of the Governor. — His Farm, or Bouwerie. — War Between 
Holland and England.— New York Menaced by the Dutch. 30I 


The Final Surrender. 

The Summons. — The Bombardment. — Disembarkation of the 
Land Force. — Indecision of Captain Manning. — The Sur- 
render. — Short Administration of the Dutch. — Social Cus- 
toms. — The Tea Party. — Testimony of Travellers. — Visit to 
Long Island. — Fruitfulness of the Country. — Exploration of 
Manhattan Island 334 


The Olden Time. 

Wealth and Rank of the Ancient Families. — Their Vast Landed 
Estates. — Distinctions in Dress. — Veneration for the Pa- 
troon. — Kip's Mansion. — Days of the Revolution. — Mr. 
John Adams' Journal. — Negro Slavery. — Conseqaences of 
the System. — General Panic 346 

Peter Stuyvesant. 


Discovery of the Hudson River. 

The Discovery of America. — Colonies. — The Bay of New York.— 
Description of the Bay. — Voyage of Sir Henry Hudson. — Dis- 
covery of the Delaware. — The Natives. — The Boat Attacked. — 
Ascending the Hudson. — Escape of the Prisoners. — The Chiefs 
Intoxicated. — The Return.— The Village at Castleton. — The 
Theft and its Punishment. — The Return to England. 

On the I2th of October, 1492, Christopher Co- 
lumbus landed upon the shores of San Salvador, one 
of the West India islands, and thus revealed to as- 
tonished Europe a new world. Four years after this, 
in the year 1496, Sebastian Cabot discovered the 
continent of North America. Thirty-three years 
passed away of many wild adventures of European 
voyagers, when, in the year 1539, Ferdinand de Soto 
landed at Tampa Bay, in Florida, and penetrating 
the interior of the vast continent, discovered the 


Mississippi River. Twenty-six years more elapsed 
ere, in 1565, the first European colony was estab- 
lished at St. Augustine, in Florida. 

In the year 1585, twenty years after the settle- 
ment of St. Augustine, Sir Walter Raleigh com- 
menced his world-renowned colony upon the Roa- 
noke. Twenty-two years passed when, in 1607, the 
London Company established the Virginia Colony 
upon the banks of the James river. 

In the year 1524, a Florentine navigator by the 
name of Jean de Verrazano, under commission of 
the French monarch, Francis I., coasting northward 
along the shores of the continent, entered the bay 
of New York. In a letter to king Francis I., dated 
July 8th, 1524, he thus describes the Narrows and 
the Bay : 

" After proceeding one hundred leagues, we 
found a very pleasant situation among some steep 
hills, through which a very large river, deep at its 
mouth, forced its way to the sea. From the sea to 
the estuary of the river, any ship heavily laden might 
pass, with the help of the tide, which rises eight feet. 
But as we were riding at anchor, in a good berth, 
we would not venture up in our vessel without a 
knowledge of the mouth. Therefore we took the 
boat, and entering the river, we found the country, 
on its banks, well peopled, the inhabitants not much 


differing from the others, being dressed out with the 
feathers of birds of various colors. 

"They came towards us with evident dehght, 
raising loud shouts of admiration, and showing us 
where we could most securely land with our boat. 
We passed up this river about half a league, when 
we found it formed a most beautiful lake three 
leagues in circuit, upon which they were rowing 
thirty or more of their small boats, from one shore 
to the other, filled with multitudes who came to see 
us. All of a sudden, as is wont to happen to navi- 
gators, a violent contrary wind blew in from the sea, 
and forced us to return to our ship, greatly regret- 
ting to leave this region which seemed so commodi- 
ous and delightful, and which we supposed must 
also contain great riches, as the hills showed many 
indications of minerals." 

In the year 1609, a band of Dutch merchants, 
called the East India Company, fitted out an expe- 
dition to discover a northeast passage to the Indies. 
They built a vessel of about eighty tons burden, 
called the Half Moon, and manning her with twenty 
sailors, entrusted the command to an Englishman, 
Henry Hudson. He sailed from the Texel in his 
solitary vessel, upon this hazardous expedition, on 
the 6th of April, 1609. Doubling North Cape amid 
storms and fog and ice, after the rough voyage of a 


month, he became discouraged, and determined to 
change his plan and seek a northwest passage. 

Crossing the Atlantic, which, in those high lati- 
tudes, seems ever to be swept by storms, he laid in 
a store of codfish on the banks of Newfoundland, 
and, on the 17th of July, ran his storm-shattered 
bark into what is now known as Penobscot Bay, on 
the coast of Maine. Here he found the natives 
friendly. He had lost his foremast in a storm, and 
remained at this place a week, preparing a new one. 
He had heard in Europe that there was probably a 
passage through the unexplored continent, to the 
Pacific ocean, south of Virginia. Continuing his 
voyage southward, he passed Cape Cod, which he 
supposed to be an island, and arrived on the i8th 
of August at the entrance of Chesapeake Bay. He 
then ran along the coast in a northerly direction and 
entered a great bay with rivers, which he named 
South River, but which has since received the name 
of the Delaware. 

Still following the coast, he reached the High- 
lands of Neversink, on the 2d of September, and at 
three o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, came 
to what then seemed to him to be the mouths of 
three large rivers. These were undoubtedly the 
Raritan, the Narrows, and Rockaway Inlet. After 
careful soundings he, the next morning, passed Sandy 


Hook and anchored in the bay at but two cables' 
length from the shore. The waters around him 
were swarming with fish. The scenery appeared to 
him enchanting. Small Indian villages were clus- 
tered along the shores, and many birch canoes were 
seen gliding rapidly to and fro, indicating that the 
region was quite densely populated, and that the 
natives were greatly agitated if not alarmed by the 
strange arrival. 

Soon several canoes approached the vessel, and 
the natives came on board, bringing with them green 
tobacco and corn, which they wished to exchange 
for knives and beads. Many vessels, engaged in 
fishing, had touched at several points on the Atlan- 
tic coast, and trafficked with the Indians. The in- 
habitants of this unexplored bay had heard of these 
adventurers, of the wonders which they brought 
from distant lands, and they were in a state of great 
excitement, in being visited in their turn. 

The bay was fringed with the almost impenetra- 
ble forest. Here and there were picturesque open- 
ings, where Indian villages, in peaceful beauty, were 
clustered in the midst of the surrounding foliage. 
The natives were dressed in garments of deer skin, 
very softly tanned, hanging gracefully about their 
persons, and often beautifully ornamented. Many of 
them wore mantles of gorgeously-colored feathers, 


quite artistically woven together; and they had also 
garments of rich furs. 

The following morning a party from the vessel 
landed, in a boat, on the Jersey shore. They were 
received with great hospitality by the natives, who 
led them into their wigwams, and regaled them with 
dried currants, which were quite palatable. As they 
had no interpreters, they could only communicate 
with each other by signs. They found the land 
generally covered with forest trees, with occasional 
meadows of green grass, profusely interspersed with 
flowers, which filled the air with fragrance. 

Another party of five men, was sent to examine 
the northern shore of the bay. They probably in- 
flicted some gross outrage upon the natives, as the 
crew of the Half Moon had conducted infamously, 
at other points of the coast, where they had landed, 
robbing and shooting the Indians. The sun had 
gone down, and a rainy evening had set in, when two 
canoes impelled rapidly by paddles, overtook the 
returning boat. One contained fourteen Indians ; 
the other twelve. Approaching within arrow shot, 
they discharged a volley into the boat. One of 
these keen-pointed weapons, struck John Coleman 
in the throat, and instantly killed him. Two other 
Englishmen were wounded. 

The Indians seemed satisfied with their revenge 


Though they numbered twenty-six warriors, and 
there were but two white men left unwounded, the 
savages permitted them to continue their passage to 
the vessel, without further molestation. The jour- 
nalist, who records this assault, is silent respecting 
the provocation which led to it. 

Hudson was alarmed by this hostility, and ex- 
pected an immediate attack upon the ship. He 
promptly erected bulwarks along the sides of his 
vessel as a protection from the arrows of the fleet of 
war canoes, with which, he supposed, he would be 
surrounded the next morning. 

But the night passed quietly away ; the morning 
dawned, and a few canoes approached from another 
part of the bay, with no signs of hostility. These 
peaceful Indians had manifestly heard nothing of the 
disturbance of the night before. They came un- 
armed, with all friendly attestations, unsuspicious of 
danger, and brought corn and tobacco, which they 
offered in exchange for such trinkets as they could 
obtain. The next morning, two large canoes ap- 
proached from the shores of the bay which was many 
leagues in extent, one of which canoes seemed to be 
filled with warriors, thoroughly armed. The other 
Was a trading boat. 

It is probable that those in the war canoe, came 
as a protection for their companions. It is hardly 


conceivable that the Indians, naturally timid and 
wary, could have thought, with a single war canoe 
containing scarcely a do^en men, armed with arrows, 
to attack the formidable vessel of Sir Henry Hudson, 
armed, as they well knew it to be, with the terrible 
energies of thunder and lightning. 

The Indians were so unsuspicious of danger, 
that two of them unhesitatingly came on board. 
Sir Henry, we must think treacherously, seized 
them as prisoners, and ordered the canoes contain- 
ing their companions, to keep at a distance. Soon 
another canoe came, from another direction, with 
only two men in it. Sir Henry received them both 
on board, and seized them also as prisoners. He 
intended to hold them as hostages, that he might 
thus protect himself from any hostility on the part 
of the natives. 

One of these men upon finding himself a captive, 
leaped overboard and swam ashore. Sir Henry had 
now three prisoners and he guarded them very 
closely. Yet the natives, either from policy or 
from fear, made no hostile demonstrations against 

The half Moon remained in the outer bay nine 
days. Several exploring tours had been sent out, 
visiting what is now known as the Jersey shore. 
None of these, with the exception of the one ta 


which we have alluded, encountered any hostility 
whatever from the natives. 

On the nth of September, Hudson sailed 
through the Narrows, and anchored in the still and 
silent waters of New York harbor. These waters 
had never then been whitened by a sail, or ploughed 
by any craft larger than the Indian's birch canoe. 
The next morning, the I2th of September, Sir 
Henry again spread his sails, and commenced his 
memorable voyage up the solitary river, which has 
subsequently borne his name. Only here and there 
could a few wigwams be seen, scattered through the 
forest, which fringed its banks. But human life was 
there, then as now, with the joys of the bridal and 
the grief of the burial. When we contemplate the 
million of people, now crowded around the mouth 
of the Hudson, convulsively struggling in all the 
stern conflicts of this tumultuous life, it may be 
doubted whether there were not as much real hap- 
piness in the wigwam of the Indian as is now to be 
found in the gorgeous palace of the modern million- 
aire. And when we contemplate the vices and the 
crimes which civilization has developed, it may also 
be doubted whether there were not as much virtue, 
comparatively with the numbers to be found, with- 
in the bark hut of the red man, as is now to be 


found in the abodes of the more boastful white 

Sir Henry Hudson hoped to find this majestic 
river, inviting him into unknown regions of the 
north, to be an arm of the sea through which he 
could cross the continent to the shores of the Pa- 
cific. It was not then known whether this conti- 
nent were a few miles or thousands of miles in 
breadth. For the first two days the wind was con- 
trary, and the Half Moon ascended the river but 
about two miles. The still friendly natives paddled 
out from the shores, in their bark canoes in great 
numbers, coming on board entirely unarmed and 
offering for sale, excellent oysters and vegetables in 
great abundance. 

On the third day a strong breeze sprang up from 
the southeast. All sail was set upon the Half 
Moon. It was a bright and beautiful autumnal day. 
Through enchanting scenery the little vessel plough- 
ed the waves of the unknown river, till, having ac- 
complished forty miles, just at sunset they dropped 
their anchor in the still waters which are surround- 
ed by the grand and gloomy cliffs of the Highlands. 

The next morning, the river and its shores, were 
enveloped in a dense fog, so that one could see but 
a few yards before him. Taking advantage of this, 
the Indian captives, whom Sir Henry Hudson had 


SO treacherously ensnared, leaped out of one of the 
port-holes, and swam ashore. As soon as they 
reached the land, they raised loud shouts of hatred 
and defiance. 

The sun soon dispelled the fog, and the voyage 
was continued, and by night the Half Moon reached 
a point supposed to be near the present site of Cats- 
kill Landing. The natives were numerous, and 
very friendly. They came freely on board, appar- 
ently unsuspicious of danger. It was noticeable 
that there were many very aged men among them. 
The river seemed full of fishes, and with their hooks 
they took large numbers. The next day the In- 
dians came on board in crowds, bringing pumpkins 
and tobacco. The vessel's boats were sent on shore 
to procure fresh water. 

Early the ensuing morning, they pushed up the 
river five miles, to a point probably near the pres- 
ent city of Hudson. 

Sir Henry Hudson does not appear to advantage 
in the account transmitted to us of this exploration. 
Mr. Sparks, in his American Biography, gives the 
following extraordinary account of one of his pro- 

"It is evident that great distrust was entertain- 
ed by Hudson and his men towards the natives. 
He now determined to ascertain, by intoxicating 


some of the chiefs, and thus throwing them off their 
guard, whether they were plotting any treachery. 
Pie accordingly invited several of them into the 
cabin, and gave them plenty of brandy to drink. 
One of these men had his wife with him, who, the 
Journal informs us, ' sate so modestly as any of our 
countrywomen would do in a strange place.' But 
the men had less delicacy and were soon quite mer- 
ry with the brandy. 

" One of them, who had been on board from the 
first arrival of the ship, was completely intoxicated, 
and fell sound asleep, to the great astonishment of 
his companions, who probably feared that he had 
been poisoned ; for they all took to their canoes and 
made for the shore, leaving their unlucky comrade 
on board. Their anxiety for his welfare soon in- 
duced them to return ; and they brought a quantity 
of beads, which they gave him, perhaps to enable 
him to purchase his freedom from the spell which 
had been laid upon him. 

" The poor savage slept quietly all night, and 
when his friends came to visit him the next morn- 
ing they found him quite well. This restored their 
confidence, so that they came to the ship again in 
crowds, in the afternoon, bringing various presents 
for Hudson. Their visit which was one of unusual 
ceremony is thus described in the Journal : 


" ' So at three of the clock in the afternoon, they 
came aboard and brought tobacco and more beads, 
and gave them to our master, and made an oration 
and showed him all the country round about. Then 
they sent one of their company on land, who pres- 
ently returned ; and brought a great platter full of 
venison, dressed by themselves, and they caused 
him to eat with them. Then they made him rev- 
erence and departed, all save the old man that lay 
aboard.' " 

It was now manifest that no northwest passage 
to the Indies could be found in this direction, and it 
was not deemed expedient to attempt to ascend the 
river any farther in the ship. The mate, however^ 
was sent with a boat's crew, to explore the river 
some distance higher up. It is supposed that the 
boat ascended several miles above the present site 
of the city of Albany, Hudson probably going a lit- 
tle beyond where the town of Waterford now is. 
Upon the return of the boat, the mate having re- 
ported that it was useless to attempt ai»y farther 
ascent of the river with the ship. Sir Henry com- 
menced his return. 

Carefully descending the winding channel of the 
stream, he was so unfortunate as to run the ship 
on a mud bank, in the middle of the river nearly 
opposite the present city of Hudson. Without 


much difficulty the vessel was again floated, having 
received no injury. But contrary winds detained 
him upon the spot two days. In the meantime 
several boat parties visited the banks on both sides 
of the stream. They were also visited by many 
of the natives who were unremitting in their kind 

A fair wind soon springing up they ran down 
the river eighteen miles, passing quite a large In- 
dian village where Catskill now stands, and cast 
anchor in deep water, near Red Hook. Baffled by 
opposing winds and calms, they slowly worked their 
way down the stream, the next two days, to near 
the present point of Castleton. Here a venerable 
old man, the chief of a small tribe, or rather patri- 
archal family of forty men and seventeen women, 
came on board in his birch canoe. He gave Sir 
Henry a very cordial invitation to visit his little set- 
tlement of wigwams, picturesquely nestled upon the 
banks of the river. Distance lends enchantment to 
the view. The little hamlet in a sheltered cove 
where fertile meadows were spread out, was sur- 
rounded by fields waving with the harvest. From 
the deck of the ship the scene presented was one 
of peace, prosperity and happiness. The smoke 
ascended gracefully from the wigwam fires, children 
were sporting upon the beach, and birch canoes, al- 


most as light as bubbles, were being rapidly paddled 
over the glassy waves. 

The good old chief took the English captain 
ashore and led him into his palace. It was a very 
humble edifice, constructed of bark so carefully over- 
lapped as effectually to exclude both wind and 
rain. It was from thirty to forty feet long and 
eighteen feet wide. There was a door at each end, 
and ample light was admitted by an opening ex- 
tending along the whole length, through which the 
smoke of the fires could escape. The interior was 
finished with great care, and very smoothly. Un- 
der certain states of the atmosphere and of the 
wind the smoke freely ascended, causing no embar- 
rassment to those within. The ground floor was 
neatly covered with mats, except in the centre 
where the fire was built. The whole interior as Sir 
Hudson entered it, on a serene autumnal day, pre- 
sented a very cheerful aspect. One might easily be 
pardoned for imagining, in that hour, that the life 
of the American savage, free from care, was appar- 
ently far more desirable than that of the toil-worn 

Sir Henry, with the few who accompanied him, 
was received with great hospitality. Some Indians 
were immediately sent into the forest for a dinner. 
They soon returned with some pigeons which they 


had shot with their arrows. A nice fat puppy was 
also killed, skinned with a clam-shell, and roasted 
in the highest style of barbaric culinary art. Thick 
mats were provided as seats for the guests at this 
royal festival. Hudson was urged to remain all 
night. He was evidently a man of very cautious, 
if not suspicious temperament. He could not, or 
did not conceal, from the Indians his fears that they 
were meditating treachery. These artless men, to 
convince him that he had nothing to apprehend, 
actually broke their bows and arrows, and threw 
them into the fire. But nothing could induce Hud- 
son to remain on shore through the night. He de- 
scribes the land here as very fertile, bearing abun- 
dantly, corn, pumpkins, grapes, plums, and various 
other kinds of small fruits. 

Availing himself of a fair wind, he again spread 
his sails, and on the ist of October, cast anchor at 
the mouth of Haverstraw Bay, in the vicinity of 
Stony Point. He had scarcely furled his sails, when 
a large number of natives came paddling out from 
the shore in their little birch canoes. They were 
entirely unarmed, bringing apparently in a most 
friendly manner, furs, fish and vegetables for sale. 
Soon quite a little fleet of these buoyant canoes 
were gliding over the water. One Indian, paddling 
beneath the cabin windows, and seeing hanging our 


certain articles pilfered a pillow and a jacket. As 
he was making off with his treasures the mate 
caught sight of him, and seizing his gun mercilessly 
shot him dead. A severe punishment for so trivial 
a crime in an untutored savage. 

All the Indians on board the Half Moon as they 
heard the report of the gun, and saw their unfortu- 
nate companion fall dead in his blood, were stricken 
with terror. Some rushed into their canoes. Oth- 
ers plunged into the river to swim ashore. The 
vessel's boat immediately put off to pick up the ca- 
noe with the stolen goods. As it was returning, a 
solitary Indian, in the water, probably exhausted 
and drowning, grasped the gunwale. The cook 
seized a hatchet and with one blow, deliberately cut 
off the man's hand at the wrist. The poor creature, 
uttering a shriek, sank beneath the crimsoned waves 
and was seen no more. 

The next day, the Half Moon descended the 
river about twenty miles through Tappan Sea, and 
anchored, it is supposed, near the head of Manhat- 
tan island. Sir Henry Hudson was apparently op- 
pressed in some degree with the unjustifiable harsh- 
ness with which he had treated the simple-hearted, 
yet friendly natives. He was continually and in- 
creasingly apprehensive of treachery. A single 
canoe contai'iing several men approached the ship 


Hudson's eagle eye perceived that one of these men 
was one of the captives whom he had seized, but 
who had escaped from his imprisonment by plung- 
ing into the river and swimming ashore. The sight 
of this man alarmed the captain, and he refused to 
allow any of them to come on board. 

It seems to us rather absurd to suppose that 
half-a-dozen savages could think of attacking, from 
a birch canoe, with arrows, a European ship with its 
well-armed crew. It should be borne in mind that 
we have the narrative from the white man only. 
The Indians have had no opportunity to tell their 

Mr. Brodhead, in his valuable history of New 
York, gives the following account of the untoward 
scenes which immediately ensued, compiling from the 
most ancient records : 

"But Hudson, perceiving their intent, would 
suffer none of them to enter the vessel. Two ca- 
noes, full of warriors, then came under the stern, 
and shot a flight of arrows into the yacht. A few 
muskets were discharged in retaliation, and two or 
three of the assailanii were killed. Some hundred 
Indians then assembled at the Point to attack the 
Half Moon, as she drifted slowly by ; but a cannon- 
shot killed two of them, whereupon the rest fled 
into the woods. Again the assailants manned an- 


Other canoe and again the attack was repulsed by a 
cannon shot which destroyed their frail bark; and 
so the savages went their way mourning the loss of 
nine of their warriors. The yacht then got down 
two leagues beyond that place, and anchored over 
night on the other side of the river in the bay near 
Hoboken. Hard by his anchorage and upon that 
side of the river that is called Mannahatta, Hudson 
noticed that there was a cliff that looked of the col- 
or of white-green. Here he lay wind-bound the 
next day, and saw no people to trouble him. The 
following morning, just one month after his arrival 
at Sandy Hook, Hudson weighed anchor for the 
last time and coming out of the mouth of the great 
river, in the which he had run so far, he set all sail 
and steered off again into the main sea." 

It is very evident that Sir Henry Hudson was 
by no means a good disciplinarian. The authority 
he exercised over his crew, was very feeble. A mu- 
tinous spirit began already to prevail, and we are 
told that they threatened him savagely. It would 
appear that Sir Henry and his mate wished to re- 
pair to Newfoundland, and after having passed the 
winter, which was close upon them, there to resume 
their voyage, in search of a northwest passage, 
through Davis's Straits. But the turbulent crew 
would not consent. They compelled the captain to 


turn the prow of his ship towards Europe. After 
the voyage of a month the Half Moon cast anchor 
in the harbor of Dartmouth, England, on the 9th 
of November, 1609. 

It will be remembered that Sir Henry Hudson 
was an Englishman, though he was sailing in the ser- 
vice of the Dutch East India Company. When the 
Dutch Directors heard of his arrival in England, and 
of the important discoveries he had made, they sent 
orders for him immediately to repair to Amsterdam. 
At the same time the Dutch government claimed, 
by the right of discovery, all that portion of the 
North American continent along whose coasts Hud- 
son had sailed and upon whose shores he had occa- 
sionally landed, taking possession of the same in 
the name of the Dutch government. 

The English government, jealous of the advan- 
tage which had thus been gained by the flag of 
Holland, peremptorily forbade Hudson to leave his 
native country ; and for several months the Hali 
Moon was detained at Dartmouth. 

The Progress of Discovery. 

Value of the Territory Discovered. — Fate of Hudson. — The Conspir 
acy. — Aspect of Manhattan Island. — The Trail which has Widen' 
ed into Broadway. — The Opening Commerce. — The Fur Trade. 
— Visit of the English Man of War. — Exploring the Sound. — 
Commercial Enterprise Receives a New Stimulus. — Erection of 
Forts. — Character of the Fur Trade. 

The Half Moon was detained in England eight 
months, and did not reach Amsterdam until the 
summer of 1610. The Dutch Directors, though dis- 
appointed in not finding in the region they had ex- 
plored the much hoped-for Northwest Passage to 
the Indies, were somewhat elated by the magnifi- 
cent discoveries which had been made. The terri- 
tory they claimed, by virtue of these discoveries, 
extended from the mouth of the Delaware on the 
South, to Cape Cod on the Northeast. The grand 
river of Canada, the St. Lawrence, was deemed its 
northern frontier. Its western boundaries were un- 
explored and unknown. 

This was indeed a princely territory to be owned 
by any power. The climate was as favorable as any 


to be found upon the globe. The soil was fertile, 
the landscape being picturesquely diversified by 
mountains and valleys. Vast forests, of the most 
valuable timber, covered immense portions. Wild 
fruits and nuts in great variety were found in profu- 
sion. The territory was watered by several truly 
magnificent rivers. The region was filled with 
game ; and furs, of the richest kind and apparently 
in exhaustless quantities, could be purchased of the 
natives, at an almost nominal price. 

It may be worthy of notice, that Sir Henry Hud- 
son never revisited the pleasant region which he 
had discovered, and which he had pronounced to 
be ' as beautiful a land as the foot of man can tread 
upon.' In the summer of 1610, Hudson entered 
the service of a London company and sailed from 
the Thames in the " Discovery," in search of either 
a Northwest or Northeast passage to the Indies. 
Passing Iceland, appropriately so called, he gazed 
with astonishment upon Hecla in full eruption, 
throwing its fiery flood and molten stones into the 
air. Doubling the Cape of Greenland, he entered 
Davis's Straits. Through these he passed into the 
gloomy waters beyond. 

After spending a dismal winter, in the endurance 
of great privation, exposed to severe Arctic storms, 
his mutinous crew abandoned him, in the midst of 


fields of ice, to perish miserably. The following art- 
less account of this tragedy, which is taken from the 
lips of one of the mutineers, will be read with inter- 
est. The ship was surrounded with ice and the 
crew in a starving condition. 

" They had been detained at anchor in the ice," 
says Pricket, " about a week, when the first signs of 
the mutiny appeared. Green, a;id Wilson the boat- 
swairi, came in the night to me, as I was lying in my 
berth very lame and told me that they and sev- 
eral of the crew had resolved to seize Hudson and 
set him adrift in the boat, with all on board who 
were disabled by sickness ; that there were but a 
few days' provisions left ; that the master appeared 
entirely irresolute, which way to go ; that for them- 
selves they had eaten nothing for three days. Tl.eir 
only hope therefore was in taking command of the 
ship, and escaping from these regions as quickly as 

" I remonstrated with them in the most earnest 
manner, entreating them to abandon such a wicked 
intention. But all I could say had no effect. It 
was decided that the plot should be put into execu- 
tion at daylight. In the meantime Green went into 
Hudson's cabin to keep him company, and to pre- 
vent his suspicions from being excited. They had 
determined to put the carpenter and John King 


into the boat with Hudson and the sick, having 
some grudge against them for their attachment 
to the master. King and the carpenter had slept 
on deck this night, but about daybreak, King was 
observed to go down into the hold with the cook, 
who was going for water. Some of the mutineers 
ran and shut down the hatch over them, while 
Green and another engaged the attention of the car- 
penter, so that he did not observe what was going on. 

" Hudson now came from the cabin and was im- 
mediately seized by Thomas and Bennet, the cook, 
who had come up from the hold, while Wilson ran 
behind and bound his arms. He asked them what 
they meant, and they told him that he would know 
when he was in the shallop. Hudson called upon 
the carpenter to help him, telling him that he was 
bound. But he could render him no assistance be- 
ing surrounded by mutineers. The boat was now 
hauled along side, and the sick and lame were call- 
ed up from their berths. I crawled upon the deck 
as well as I could and Hudson, seeing me, called to 
me to come to the hatchway and speak to him. 

" I entreated the men, on my knees, for the love 
of God, to remember their duty. But they only 
told me to go back to my berth, and would not al- 
low me to have any communication with Hudson. 
After the captain was put in the boat, the carpentei 


was set at liberty ; but he refused to remain in the 
ship unless they forced him. So they told him he 
might go in the boat and allowed him to take his 
chest with him. Before he got into the boat, he 
told me that he believed they would soon be taken 
on board again, as there was no one left who knew 
enough to bring the ship home. He thought that 
the boat would be kept in tow. We then took 
leave of each other, with tears in our eyes, and the 
carpenter went into the boat, taking a musket and 
some powder and shot, an iron pot, a small quan- 
tity of meal, and other provisions. 

" Hudson's son and six of the men were also put 
into the boat. The sails were then hoisted and 
they stood eastward, with a fair wind, dragging the 
shallop from the stern. In a few hours, being clear 
of the ice, they cut the rope by which the boat was 
towed, and soon after lost sight of her forever." 

The imagination recoils from following the vic- 
tims thus abandoned, through the long days and 
nights of lingering death, from hunger and from 
cold. To God alone has the fearful tragedy been 

The glowing accounts which Sir Henry Hudson 
had given of the river he had discovered, and par- 
ticularly of the rich furs there to be obtained, in- 
duced the merchants of Amsterdam in the year 


1616 to fit out a trading expedition to that region. A 
vessel was at once dispatched, freighted with a varie- 
ty of goods to be exchanged for furs. The enterprise 
was eminently successful and gradually more mi- 
nute information was obtained respecting the terri- 
tory surrounding the spacious bay into which the 
Hudson river empties its flood. 

The island of Manhattan, upon which the city 
of New York is now built, consisted then of a series 
of forest-crowned hills, interspersed with crystal 
streamlets and many small but beautiful lakes. 
These solitary sheets of water abounded with fish, 
and water-fowl of varied plumage. They were fring- 
ed with forests, bluffs, and moss-covered rocks. The 
upper part of the island was rough, being much bro- 
ken by storm-washed crags and wild ravines, with 
many lovely dells interspersed, fertile in the extreme, 
blooming with flowers, and in the season, red with 
delicious strawberries. There were also wild grapes 
and nuts of various kinds, in great abundance. 

The lower part of the islan'd was much more lev- 
el. There were considerable sections where the 
forest had entirely disappeared. The extended 
fields, inviting the plough, waved with luxuriant 
grass. It was truly a delightful region. The cli- 
mate was salubrious ; the atmosphere in cloudless 
transparency rivalled the famed skies of Italy. 


Where the gloomy prison of the Tombs now 
stands, there was a lake of crystal water, overhung 
by towering trees. Its silence and solitude were 
disturbed only by the cry of the water-fowl which 
disported upon its surface, while its depths sparkled 
with the spotted trout. The lake emptied into the 
Hudson river by a brook which rippled over its peb- 
bly bed, along the present line of Canal street. 
This beautiful lake was fed by large springs and was 
sufficiently deep to float any ship in the navy. In- 
deed it was some time before its bottom could be 
reached by any sounding line. 

There was a gentle eminence or ridge, forming 
as it were the backbone of the island, along which 
there was a narrow trail trodden by the moccasoned 
feet of the Indian, in single file for countless gener- 
ations. Here is now found the renowned Broadway, 
one of the busiest thoroughfares upon the surface 
of the globe. 

On the corner of Grand street and Broadway, 
there was a well-wooded hill, from whose command- 
ing height one obtained an enchanting view of the 
whole island with its surrounding waters. Amidst 
these solitudes there were many valleys in whose 
peaceful bosoms the weary of other lands seemed to 
be invited to take refuge. 

Indeed it is doubtful whether the whole conti. 


neiit of North America presented any region more 
attractive. The salubrity of its clime, the beauty 
of the scenery, the abundance and purity of the wa- 
ters, the spacious harbor, the luxuriance of the soil 
and the unexplored rivers opening communication 
with vast and unknown regions of the interior, all 
combined in giving to the place charms which could 
not be exceeded by any other position on the conti- 

The success of the first trading vessel was so 
great that, within three years, five other ships were 
sent to the " Mauritius river" as the Hudson was 
first named. There was thus opened a very brisk 
traffic with the Indians which was alike beneficial to 
both parties. Soon one or two small forts were 
erected and garrisoned on the river for the protec- 
tion of the traders. Manhattan island, so favorably 
situated at the mouth of the river, ere long became 
the headquarters of this commerce. Four log 
houses were built, it is said, upon the present site 
of 39, Broadway. 

Here a small company of traders established 
themselves in the silence and solitude of the wilder- 
ness. Their trading boats ran up the river, and 
along the coast, visiting every creek and inlet in the 
pursuit of furs. The natives, finding this market 
thus suddenly opening before them, and finding that 


their furs, heretofore almost valueless, would pur- 
chase for them treasures of civilization of almost 
priceless worth, redoubled their zeal in hunting and 

A small Indian settlement sprang up upon the 
spot. Quite large cargoes of furs were collected 
during the winter and shipped to Holland in the 
spring. The Dutch merchants seem to have been 
influenced by a high sentiment of honor. The most 
amicable relations existed between them and the 
Indians. Henry Christiaensen was the superintend- 
ent of this feeble colony. He was a prudent and 
just man, and, for some time, the lucrative traffic in 
peltry continued without interruption. The Dutch 
merchants were exposed to no rivalry, for no Euro- 
pean vessels but theirs had, as yet, visited the Mauri- 
tius river. 

sBut nothing in this world ever long continues 
tranquil. The storm ever succeeds the calm. In 
November, of the year 161 3, Captain Argal, an Eng- 
lishman, in a war vessel, looked in upon the little 
defenceless trading hamlet, at the mouth of the 
Hudson, and claiming the territory as belonging to 
England, compelled Christiaensen to avow fealty to 
the English crown, and to pay tribute, in token of 
his dependence upon that power. Christiaensen 
could make no resistance. One broadside from the 


British ship would lay his huts in ruins, and expose 
all the treasures collected there to confiscation. He 
could only submit to the extortion and send a nar- 
rative of the event to the home government. 

The merchants in Holland were much alarmed 
by these proceedings. They presented a petition 
to the States-General, praying that those who dis- 
covered new territory, on the North American con- 
tinent, or elsewhere, might enjoy the exclusive right 
of trading with the inhabitants of those regions 
during six consecutive voyages. 

This request was granted, limiting the number 
of voyages however to four instead of six. In the 
meantime the Dutch merchants erected and garri- 
soned two small forts to protect themselves from 
such piratic excursions as that of captain Argal, 
In the year 1614 five vessels arrived at Manhattan 
to transport to Europe the furs which had been pur- 
chased. Just as Captain Block was preparing to re- 
turn, his ship, the Tiger, which was riding at anchor 
just off the southern point of Manhattan island, 
took fire, and was burned to the water's edge. 

He was a very energetic man, not easily dismay- 
ed by misfortune. The island abounded with ad- 
mirable timber for ship building. He immediately 
commenced the construction of another vessel. 
This yacht was forty-four and a half feet long, and 


eleven and a half feet wide. The natives watched 
the gro\/th of the stupendous structure with astoa- 
ishment. In the most friendly manner they render- 
ed efficient aid in drawing the heavy timber from 
the foiest to the shipyard. They also brought in 
abundant food for the supply of the strangers. 

Early in the spring of 1614 the " Restless " was 
launched. Immediately Captain Block entered up- 
on an exploring tour through what is now called the 
East River. He gave the whole river the name of 
the Hellegat, from a branch of the river Scheldt in 
East Flanders. The unpropitious name still ad- 
heres to the tumultuous point of whirling eddies 
where the waters of the sound unite with those of 
the river. 

Coasting along the narrow portion of the sound, 
he named the land upon his right, which he did not 
then know to be an island, Metoac or the Land of 
Shells. We should rather say he accepted that 
name from the Indians. On this cruise he discov- 
ered the mouths of the Housatonic and of the Con- 
necticut. He ascended this latter stream, which he 
called Fresh River, several leagues. Indian villages 
were picturesquely scattered along the shores, and 
the birch canoes of the Indians were swiftly paddled 
over the mirrored waters. All else was silence and 
solitude The gloom of the forest overshadowed 


the banks and the numerous water-fowl were un- 
disturbed upon the stream. The natives were 
friendly but timid. They were overawed by the 
presence of the gigantic structure which had invad- 
ed their solitude. 

Continuing his cruise to the eastward he reached 
the main ocean, and thus found that the land upon 
his left was an island, now known as Long Island. 
Still pressing forward he discovered the great Nar- 
ragansett Bay, which he thoroughly explpred, and 
then continued his course to Cape Cod, which, it 
will be remembered, Sir Henry Hudson had already 
discovered, and which he had called New Holland. 

Intelligence was promptly transmitted to Hol- 
land of these discoveries and the United Company, 
under whose auspices the discoveries had been 
made, adopted vigorous measures to secure, from 
the States-General, the exclusive right to trade with 
the natives of those wide realms. A very emphatic 
ordinance was passed, granting this request, on the 
27th of March, 1614. 

This ordinance stimulated to a high degree the 
spirit of commercial enterprise. The province was 
called New Netherland, and embraced the territory 
within the 40th and 45th degrees of north latitude. 
All persons, excepting the United " New Netherland 
Company," were prohibited from trading within those 


liipits, under penalty of the confiscation of both ves- 
sels and cargoes, and also a fine of fifty thousand 
Dutch ducats. 

The Company immediately erected a trading- 
house, at the head of navigation of the Hudson 
river, which as we have mentioned, was then called 
Prince Maurice's River. This house was on an isl- 
and, called Castle Island, a little below the present 
city of Albany, and was thirty-six feet long and 
twenty-six feet wide, and was strongly built of logs. 
As protection from European buccaneers rather than 
from the friendly Indians, it was surrounded by a 
strong stockade, fifty feet square. This was encir- 
cled by a moat eighteen feet wide. The whole was 
defended by several cannon and was garrisoned by 
twelve soldiers. 

This port, far away in the loneliness of the wil- 
derness, was called Fort Nassau. Jacob Elkins was 
placed in command. Now that the majestic Hudson 
is whitened with the sails of every variety of vessels 
and barges, while steamers go rushing by, swarm- 
ing with multitudes, which can scarcely be counted, 
of the seekers of wealth or pleasures, and railroad 
trains sweep thundering over the hills and through 
the valleys, and the landscape is adorned with pop- 
ulous cities and beautiful villas, it is difficult to form 
a conception of the silence and solitude of those re- 


gions but about two hundred and fifty years ago. 
when the tread of the moccasoned Indian fell noise« 
less upon the leafy trail, and when the birch canoe 
alone was silently paddled from cove to cove. 

In addition to the fort in the vicinity of Albany, 
another was erected at the southern extremity of 
Manhattan Island at the mouth of the Hudson, 
Here the company established its headquarters and 
immediately entered into a very honorable and lu- 
crative trafific with the Indians, for their valuable 
furs. The leaders of the Company were men of in- 
tegrity, and the Indians were all pleased with the 
traffic, for they were ever treated with consideration, 
and received for their furs, which they easily ob- 
tained, articles which were of priceless value to 

The vagabond white men, who were lingering 
about the frontiers of civilization, inflicting innu- 
merable and nameless outrages upon the »,a.tives, 
were rigorously excluded from these regions. Thus 
the relations existing between the Indians ar 6 their 
European visitors were friendly in the highest de- 
gree. Both parties were alike benefited by this 
traffic ; the Indian certainly not less than the Eu> 
ropean, for he was receiving into his lowly wigwam 
the products of the highest civilization. 

Indian tribes scattered far and wide through the 


primitive and illimitable forest, plied all their ener 
gies with new diligence, in taking game. They 
climbed the loftiest mountains and penetrated the 
most distant streams with their snares. Some came 
trudging to the forts on foot, with large packs of 
peltries upon their backs. Others came in their 
birch canoes, loaded to the gunwales, having set 
their traps along leagues of the river's coast and of 
distant streams. 

Once a year the ships of the company came 
laden with the most useful articles for traffic with 
the Indians, and, in return, transported back to 
Europe the furs which had been collected. Such 
were the blessings which peace and friendship con- 
ferred upon all. There seemed to be no temptation 
to outrage. The intelligent Hollanders were well 
aware that it was for their interest to secure the 
confidence of the Indian by treating him justly. 
And the Indian was not at all disposed to incur the 
resentment of strangers from whom he was receiving 
such great benefits. 

The little yacht " Restless," of which we have 
spoken, on one of her exploring tours, visited Del- 
aware Bay, and ascended that beautiful sheet of 
water as far as the Schuylkill River. Runners were 
also sent back from the forts, to follow the narrow 
trails far into the woods, to open communication 


with new tribes, to examine the country, asd to 
obtain a more intimate acquaintance with the man- 
ners and customs of the Indians. 

In the spring of 1617 a very high freshet, accom- 
panied by the breaking up of the ice, so injured 
Fort Nassau that the traders were compelled to 
abandon it. A new and very advantageous situation 
was selected, at the mouth of the Tawasentha 
Creek, subsequently called Norman's Kill. This 
name is said to have been derived from a native of 
Denmark, called the Norman, who settled there in 

In this vicinity there was a very celebrated con- 
federation of Indian tribes called the Five Nations. 
These tribes were the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onon- 
dagas, Cayugas and Senecas. They were frequently 
known by the generic name of the Iroquois. When 
the Dutch arrived, the Iroquois were at war with 
the Canadian Indians, who, though composed of 
different tribes, were known by the general name of 
the Algonquins. The Iroquois had been worsted in 
several conflicts. This led them eagerly to seek 
alliance with the white men, who, with their won- 
derful instruments of war, seemed to wield the ener- 
gies of thunder and lightning. 

The Algonquins had, some years before, formed 
an alliance with the French in Canada. The Iro 


quois now entered into an alliance with the Dutch. 
Tt was a very important movement, and the treaty 
look place, with many surroundings of barbaric 
pomp, on the banks of the Norman's Kill. 

Ambassadors from each of the five tribes graced 
the occasion. Leading chiefs of several other tribes 
were also invited to be present, to witness the im- 
posing ceremony. The garrison furnished for the 
pageant the waving of silken banners and the exhiU 
arating music of its band. The Indian chiefs at- 
tended with their decorated weapons, and they were 
arrayed in the richest costume of war paint, fringed 
garments, and nodding plumes. 

The assembly was large. The belt of peace, 
gorgeously embroidered with many-colored beads, on 
softly- tanned deer skin, was held at one end by the 
Iroquois chieftains, and at the other by the promi- 
nent men of the Dutch Company, in their most 
showy attire. The pipe of peace was smoked with 
solemn gravity. The tomahawk was buried, and 
each party pledged itself to eternal friendship. 

The united nation of the Iroquois, in numbers 
and valor, had become quite supreme throughout 
all this region. All the adjacent tribes bowed 
before their supremacy. In Mr. Street's metrical 
romance, entitled " Frontenac," he speaks, in picas- 


ing verse, of the prowess and achievements of these 
formidable warriors. 

" The fierce Adirondacs had fled from their wrath. 
The Hurons been swept from their merciless path. 
Around, the Ottawas, like leaves, had been strown. 
And the lake of the Eries struck silent and lone. 
The Lenape, lords once of valley and hill. 
Made women, bent low at their conquerors' will. 
By the far Mississippi the Illini shrank 
When the trail of the Tortoise was seen on the bank. 
On the hills of New England die Pequod turned pale 
When the howl of the Wolf swelled at night on the gale. 
And the Cherokee shook, in his green smiling bowers. 
When the foot of the Bear stamped his carpet of flowers." 

Thus far the Iroquois possessed only bows and 
arrows. They were faithful to their promises, and 
implicit confidence could be reposed in their pledge. 
The Dutch traders, without any fear, penetrated the 
wilderness in all directions, and were invariably hos- 
pitably received in the wigwams of the Indians. 

In their traffic the Dutch at first exchanged for 
furs only articles of ornament or of domestic value. 
But the bullet was a far more potent weapon in the 
chase and in the hunting-field than the arrow. The 
Indians very soon perceived the vast advantage they 
would derive in their pursuit of game, from the 
musket, as well as the superiority it would give 
them over all their foes. They consequently be- 
came very eager to obtain muskets, powder and 
ball. They were warm friends of the Europeans. 


There seemed to be no probability of their becom- 
ing enemies. Muskets and steel traps enabled them 
to obtain many more furs. Thus the Indians were 
soon furnished with an abundant supply of fire-arms, 
and became unerring marksmen. 

Year after year the returns from the trading- 
posts became more valuable ; and the explorations 
were pushed farther and farther into the interior. 
The canoes of the traders penetrated the wide 
realms watered by the upper channels of the Del- 
aware. A trading-house was also erected in the 
vast forest, upon the Jersey shore of the Hudson 
River, where the thronged streets of Jersey City at 
the present hour cover the soil. 

We have now reached the year 161 8, two yea.s 
before the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. 
Though the energetic Dutch merchants were thus 
perseveringly and humanely pushing their commerce, 
and extending their trading posts, no attempt had 
yet been made for any systematic agricultural volo- 

The Dutch alone had then any accurate k.iowl- 
edge of the Hudson River, or of the coasts of Con- 
necticut, Rhode Island, and Long Island. In 1618 
the special charter of the Company, confening upon 
them the monopoly of exclusive trade with the 
Indians, expired. Though the trade v/as thus 


thrown open to any adventurous Dutch merchant, 
still the members of the Company enjoyed an im- 
mense advantage in having all the channels per- 
fectly understood by them, and in being in posses- 
sion of such important posts. 

English fishing vessels visited the coast of Maine, 
and an unsuccessful attempt had been made to 
establish a colony at the mouth of the Kennebec 
River. Sir Walter Raleigh had also made a very 
vigorous but ujiavailing effort to establish a colony 
in Virginia. Before the year 1600, every vestige of 
his attempt had disappeared. Mr. John Romeyn 
Brodhead, in his valuable history of the State of 
New York, speaking of this illustrious man, says : 

" The colonists, whom Raleigh sent to the island 
of Roanoke in 1585, under Grenville and Lane, 
returned the next year dispirited to England. A 
second expedition, dispatched in 1587, under John 
White, to found the borough of Raleigh, in Vir- 
ginia, stopped short of the unexplored Chesapeake, 
whither it was bound, and once more occupied 
Roanoke. In 1590 the unfortunate emigrants had 
wholly disappeared ; and with their extinction all 
immediate attempts to establish an English colony 
in Virginia were abandoned. Its name alone sur- 

"After impoverishing himself in unsuccessful 


efforts to add an effective American plantation to 
his native kingdom, Raleigh, the magnanimous 
patriot, was consigned, under an unjust judgment, 
to lingering imprisonment in the Tower of London, 
to be followed, after the lapse of fifteen years, by a 
still more iniquitous execution. Yet returning jus- 
tice has fully vindicated Raleigh's fame. And 
nearly two centuries after his death the State of 
North Carolina gratefully named its capital after 
that extraordinary man, who united in himself as 
many kinds of glory as were ever combined in any 

TIte Commencement of Colonization. 

The Puritans. — Memorial to the States-General. — Disagreement of 
the English and the Dutch. — Colony on the Delaware. — Purchase 
of Manhattan. — The First Settlement. — An Indian Robbed and 
Murdered. — Description of the Island. — Diplomatic Inter- 
course. — Testimony of De Rassieres. — The Patroons. — The Di* 
aster at Swaanendael. 

In the year 1620 the Puritans founded their 
world-renowned colony at Plymouth, as we have 
minutely described in the History of Miles Standish. 
It will be remembered that the original company of 
Puritans were of English birth. Dissatisfied with 
the ritual and ceremonies which the Church of 
England had endeavored to impose upon them, they 
had emigrated to Holland, where they had formed a 
church upon their own model. Rev. John Robinson, 
a man of fervent piety and of enlightened views 
above his times, was their pastor. 

After residing in Holland for several years, this 
little band of Englishmen, not pleased with that 
country as their permanent abode, decided to seek a 
new home upon the continent of North America. 


They first directed their attention towards Virginia, 
but various obstacles were thrown in their way by 
the British Government, and at length Mr. Robinson 
addressed a letter to the Dutch Company, intimating 
the disposition felt by certain members of his flock, 
to take up their residence at New Netherland. 

The proposition was very cordially received. 
The intelligent gentlemen of that Company at once 
saw that there was thus presented to them an oppor- 
tunity to establish a colony, at their trading post, 
which it would be wise to embrace. They therefore 
addressed a memorial upon the subject to the States- 
General, and to the Prince of Orange, in which they 
urged the importance of accepting the proposition 
which they had received from Mr. Robinson, and of 
thus commencing an agricultural colony upon the 
island of Manhattan. In this memorial they write 
under date of February, 1620: 

" It now happens that there resides at Leyden 
an English clergyman, well versed in the Dutch lan- 
guage, who is favorably inclined to go and dwell 
there. Your petitioners are assured that he knows 
more than four hundred families, who, provided they 
were defended and secured there by your Royal 
Highness, and that of the High and Mighty Lords 
States-General, from all violence on the part of other 
potentates, would depart thithei, with him, from 


this country and from England, to plant, forthwith, 
everj'where the true and pure christian religion ; to 
instruct the Indians of those countries in the true 
doctrine; to bring them to the christian belief; and 
likewise, through the grace of the Lord, and for the 
greater honor of the rulers of this land to people all 
that region under a new dispensation ; all under the 
order and command of your princely Highness and 
of the High and Mighty Lords States-General. 

"Your petitioners have also learned that His 
Britannic Majesty is inclined to people the afore- 
said lands with Englishmen ; to destroy your peti- 
tioners' possessions and discoveries, and also to 
deprive this State of its right to these lands, while 
the ships belonging to this country, which are there 
during the whole of the present year, will apparently 
and probably be surprised by the English." 

The petitioners therefore prayed that the re- 
quest of Mr. Robinson might be favorably regard- 
ed ; that the contemplated colony should be taken 
under the protection of the Dutch government, 
and that two ships of war should be sent out for the 
defencf of the infant settlements. 

The Dutch government was then upon the eve 
■of a war with Spain, and all its energies were de- 
mande i in preparation for the conflict. They there- 
fore q ite peremptorily refused to entertain the peti- 


tion of the New Netherland Company. Thus the 
destination of the Puritans was changed. Though 
they were not encouraged to commence their colo- 
nial life at New Netherland, still it was their inten- 
tion when they sailed from England, to find a home 
somewhere in that vicinity, as England, as well 
as Holland, claimed the whole coast. A note, in 
the History of New Netherland, by E. B. O'Calla- 
ghan, contains the following interesting statement 
upon this subject : 

" Some historians represent that the Pilgrims 
were taken against their will to New Plymouth, by 
the treachery of the captain of the Mayflower, who, 
they assert, was bribed by the Dutch to land them 
at a distance from the Hudson river. This has been 
shown, over and over again, to have been a calumny ; 
and, if any farther evidence were requisite, it is now 
furnished, of a most conclusive nature, by the peti- 
tion in behalf of the Rev. Mr. Robinson's congre- 
gation, of Feb. 1620, and the rejection of its prayer 
by their High Mightinesses. 

" That the Dutch were anxious to secure the set- 
tlement of the Pilgrims under them, is freely admit- 
ted by the latter. Governor Bradford, in his Histo- 
ry of the Plymouth Colony, acknowledges it, and 
adds that the Dutch for that end made them large 



" Winslow corroborates this in his ' Brief Narra- 
tive,' and adds that the Dutch would have freely 
transported us to the Hudson river, and furnished 
every family with cattle. The whole of this evi- 
dence satisfactorily establishes the good will of the 
Dutch people towards the English ; while the de- 
termination of the States -General proves that there 
was no encouragement held out by the Dutch gov- 
ernment to induce them to settle in their American 
possessions. On the contrary, having formally re- 
jected their petition, they thereby secured them- 
selves against all suspicion of dealing unfairly by 
those who afterwards landed at Cape Cod. It is to 
be hoped, therefore, that even for the credit of the 
Pilgrims, the idle tale will not be repeated." 

There were many indications that a conflict 
would ere long arise between the Dutch and the 
English. The English repudiated entirely the 
Dutch claim to any right of possession on the Atlan- 
tic coast. They maintained their right to the whole 
American coast, from the Spanish possessions in Flor- 
ida, to the French posts in Canada. The English 
government founded its claim upon the ground of 
first discovery, occupation and possession. Various 
companies, in England, had, by charters and letters 
patent from their sovereigns, been entrusted with 
these vast territories. It was quite evident that 


these conflicting claims between England and Hol- 
land must eventually lead to collision. 

The Dutch merchants continued to push their 
CDmmercial enterprises in New Netherland with great 
energy. They were preparing to send quite a large 
fleet of merchant vessels to the extensive line of 
coast which they claimed, when the British mer- 
chants composing what was called the Plymouth 
Company, took the alarm, and presented a petition 
to James I., remonstrating against such proceedings. 
The British government promptly sent an ambas- 
sador to Holland to urge the States-General to pro- 
hibit the departure of the fleet, and to forbid the es- 
tablishment of a Dutch colony in those regions. 
The diplomacy which ensued led to no decisive re- 

In the year 1623, the Dutch sent a ship, under 
captain May, and established a small colony upon 
the eastern banks of the Delaware, about fifty miles 
from its mouth. The settlement, which consisted of 
about thirty families, was in the vicinity of the pres- 
ent town of Gloucester. A fortress was erected, 
called Fort Nassau. This was the first European 
settlement upon the Delaware, which stream was 
then called Prince Hendrick's, or South River. 
"Another fortified post, called Fort Orange, was es- 
tablished upon the western banks of the Hudsou 


River about thirty-six miles from the island of Man* 

Very slowly the tide of emigration began to flow 
towards the Hudson. A few families settled on 
Staten Island. Not pleased with their isolated lo- 
cation, they soon removed to the northern shore of 
Long Island, and reared their log cabins upon the 
banks of a beautiful bay, which they called Wahle- 
Bocht, or " the Bay of the Foreigners." The name 
has since been corrupted into Wallabout. The 
western extremity of Long Island was then called 
Breukelen, which has since been Anglicised into 

The government of these feeble communities 
was committed to a Governor, called Director, and a 
Council of five men. One of the first Governors was 
Peter Minuit, who was appointed in the year 1624. 
The English still claimed the territory which the 
Dutch were so quietly and efficiently settling. In 
the year 1626, the Dutch decided to make a per- 
manent settlement upon Manhattan island, which was 
then estimated to contain about twenty-two thou- 
sand acres of land. The island was purchased of the 
natives for twenty-four dollars. It was all that, at 
that time, the savage wilderness was worth. In 
that year the export of furs amounted to nineteer 
thousand dollars. 


The colony soon numbered about two hundred 
persons. The village consisted of thirty log houses, 
extending along the banks of the East River. These 
cabins were one story high, with thatched roof, wood- 
en chimneys, and two rooms on the floor. Barrels, 
placed on an end, furnished the tables. The chairs 
were logs of wood. Undoubtedly in many of these 
humble homes more true happiness was found than 
is now experienced in some of the palatial mansions 
which grace the goigeous avenues of the city. 
About this time three ships arrived, containing a 
large number of families with farming implements, 
and over a hundred head of cattle. To prevent the 
cattle from being lost in the woods, they were pas- 
tured on Governor's, then called Nutten's Island. 

And now the tide of emigration began pretty 
rapidly to increase. The Dutch transported emi- 
grants for twelve and a half cents a day, during the 
voyage, for both passage and food. They also gave 
them, upon reaching the colony, as much land as 
they were able to cultivate. With a wise toleration, 
which greatly honored them, the fullest religious 
freedom of speech and worship was allowed. 

A strong block-house, surrounded with palisades 
of red cedar, was thrown up on the south point of 
Manhattan Island, and was called Fort Amsterdam. 
This became the headquarters of the government 


and the capital of the extended, though not very 
clearly defined, realm of New Netherland. 

An unfortunate occurrence now took place which 
eventually involved the colony in serious trouble. 
An Indian, from the vicinity of Westchester, came 
with his nephew, a small boy, bringing some beaver 
skins to barter with the Dutch at the fort. The 
narrow trail through the forest, Ifd in a southeast 
direction, along the shore of the East River, till it 
reached what was called Kip's Bay. Then, diverging 
to the west, it passed near the pond of fresh water, 
which was about half way between what are now 
Broadway and Chatham streets. This pond, for a cen- 
tury or more, was known as the Kolck or the Col- 

When the Indians reached this point, they were 
waylaid by three white men, robbed cf their furs, 
and the elder one was murdered. The boy made 
his escape and returned to his wilderness home, vow- 
ing to revenge the murder of his uncle. It does not 
appear that the Dutch authorities were informed of 
this murder. They certainly did not punish the 
murderers, nor make any attempt to expiate the 
crime, by presents to the Indians. 

" The island of Manhattan," wrote De Rassieres 
at this time, " is full of trees and in the middle rocky. 
On the north side there is good land in two places. 


where two farmers, each with four horses, would 
have enough to do without much grubbing or clear- 
ing at first. The grass is good in the forests and 
valleys ; but when made into hay, it is not so nutri- 
tious for the cattle as the hay in Holland, in conse- 
quence of its wild state, yet it annually improves by 
culture. / 

"On the east side there rises a large level field, 
of about one hundred and sixty acres, through 
which runs a very fine fresh stream ; so that land 
can be ploughed without much clearing. It appears 
to be good. The six farms, four of which lie along 
the river Hell-gate, stretching to the south side of 
the island, have at least one hundred and twenty 
acres to be sown with winter seed, which, at the 
most, may have been ploughed eight times." 

There were eighteen families at Fort Orange, 
which was situated on Tawalsoutha creek, on the 
west side of the Hudson river, about thirty-six 
Dutch miles above the island of Manhattan. These 
colonists built themselves huts of bark, and lived on 
terms of cordial friendship with the Indians. Was- 
senaar writes, " The Indians were as quiet as lambs, 
and came and traded with all the freedom imagin- 

The Puritans had now been five years at Ply- 
mouth. So Uttle were they acquainted with the 


geography cf the country that they supposed New 
England to be an island.* Floating rumors had 
reached them of the Dutch colony at the mouth of 
the Hudson. Governor Bradford commissioned Mr. 
Winslovv to visit the Dutch, who had sent a ship 
to Narragansett bay to trade, that he might dis- 
suade them frorh encroaching in their trade upon ter- 
ritory which the Puritans considered as exclusively 
belonging to them. Mr. Winslow failed to meet the 
Dutch before their vessel had sailed on its return to 

Soon after this the Dutch Governor, Peter 
Minuit, sent secretary De Rassieres to Governor 
Bradford, with a very friendly letter, congratulating 
the Plymouth colony upon its prosperity, inviting to 
commercial relations, and offering to supply their 
English neighbors with any commodities which they 
might want. 

Governor Bradford, in his reply, very cordially 
reciprocated these friendly greetings. Gracefully he 
alluded to the hospitality with which the exiled Pil- 
grims had been received in Holland. " Many of 
us," he wrote, " are tied by the good and courteous 
entreaty which we have found in your country, 
having lived there many years with freedom and 
good content, as many of our friends do this day; 

♦ Winslow in Young (p. 371). 


for which we are bound to be thankful, and our 
children after us, and shall never forget the same." 

At the same time he claimed that the territory, 
north of forty degrees of latitude, which included a 
large part of New Netherland, and all their Hudson 
river possessions, belonged to the English. Still he 
promised that, for the sake of good neighborhood, 
the English would not molest the Dutch at the 
mouth of the Hudson, if they would " forbear to 
trade with the natives in this bay and river of Nar- 
ragansett and Sowames, which is, as it were, at our 

The authorities at Fort Amsterdam could not, 
for a moment, admit this claim of English supremacy 
over New Netherland. Director Minuit returned 
an answer, remarkable for its courteous tone, but in 
which he firmly maintained the right of the Dutch 
to trade with the Narragansetts as they had done 
for years, adding " As the English claim authority 
under the king of England, so we derive ours from 
the States of Holland, and we shall defend it." 

Governor Bradford sent this correspondence to 
England. In an accompanying document he said, 
"the Dutch, for strength of men and fortification, 
far exceed us in all this land. They have used trad- 
ing here for six or seven and twenty years ; but 
have begun to plant of later time ; and now have re- 


duced their trade to some order, and confined it 
only to their company, which, heretofore, was spoil- 
ed by their seamen and interlopers, as ours is, this 
year most notoriously. Besides spoiling our trade, 
the Dutch continue to sell muskets, powder and shot 
to the Indians, which will be the overthrow of all, if 
it be not looked into." 

Director Minuit must have possessed some very 
noble traits of character. After waiting three 
months to receive a reply to his last communication, 
he sent another letter, reiterating the most friendly 
sentiments, and urging that an authorized agent 
should be sent from Plymouth to New Amsterdam, 
to confer " by word of mouth, touching our mutual 
commerce and trading." He stated, moreover, that 
if it were inconvenient for Governor Bradford to 
send such an agent, they would depute one to Ply- 
mouth themselves. In further token of kindness, he 
sent to the Plymouth Governor, " a rundlet of sugar 
and two Holland cheeses." 

It is truly refreshing to witness the fraternal 
spirit manifested on this occasion. How many of 
the woes of this world might have been averted 
had the brotherhood of man been thus recognized 
by the leaders of the nations ! 

A messenger was sent to Plymouth. He was 
hospitably entertained, and returned to Fort Am- 


sterdam with such testimonials of his reception as 
induced Director Minuit to send a formal ambassa- 
dor to Plymouth, entrusted with plenipotentiary 
powers. Governor Bradford apologized for not 
sending an ambassador to Fort Amsterdam, stating, 
" one of our boats is abroad, and we have much busi- 
ness at home." Director Minuit selected Isaac De 
Rassieres, secretary of the province, " a man of fair 
and genteel behavior," as his ambassador. This 
movement was, to those infant colonies, an event of 
as much importance as any of the more stately em- 
bassies which have been interchanged between 
European courts. 

The barque Nassau was fitted out, and manned 
with a small band of soldiers, and some trumpeters. 
It was the last of September, 1629, when earth and 
sky were bathed in all the glories of New England 
autumnal days. In De Rassieres' account of the 
excursion, he writes : 

" Sailing through Hell-gate, and along the shores 
of Connecticut and Rhode Island, we arrived, early 
the next month, off Frenchman's Point, at a small 
river where those of New Plymouth have a house, 
made of hewn oak planks, called Aptuxet ; where 
they keep two men, winter and summer, in order to 
maintain the trade and possession." 

This Aptuxet was at the head of Buzzard's Ba>, 


upon the site of the present village of Monumet, in 
the town of Sandwich. Near by there was a creek, 
penetrating the neck of Cape Cod, which approach- 
ed another creek on the other side so near that, by 
a portage of but about five miles, goods could be 
transported across. 

As the Nassau came in sight of this lonely trad- 
ing port suddenly the peals of the Dutch trumpets 
awoke the echoes of the forest. It was the 4th of 
October. A letter was immediately dispatched by 
a fleet-footed Indian runner to Plymouth. A boat 
was promptly sent to the head of the creek, called 
Manoucusett, on the north side of the cape, and De 
Rassieres, with his companions, having threaded the 
Indian trail through the wilderness for five miles, 
was received on board the Pilgrims' boat and con- 
veyed to Plymouth, " honorably attended with the 
noise of trumpeters." * 

This meeting was a source of enjoyment to both 
parties. The two nations of England and Holland 
were in friendly alliance, and consequently this 
interview, in the solitudes of the New World, of the 
representatives of the two colonies, was mutually 
Jigreeable. The Pilgrims, having many of them 
for a long time resided in Holland, cherished memo- 
ries of that country with feelings of strong affection 

• Bradford in Prince, 248. 


and regarded the Hollanders almost as fellow-coan- 

But again Governor Bradford asserted the right 
of the English to the country claimed by the Dutch, 
and even intimated that force might soon be 
employed to vindicate the British pretentions. We 
must admire the conduct of both parties in this 
emergency. The Dutch, instead of retaliating with 
threats and violence, sent a conciliatory memorial to 
Charles I., then King of England. And Charles, 
much to his credit, issued an order that all the Eng- 
lish ports, whether in the kingdom or in the terri- 
tories of the British king, should be thrown open to 
the Dutch vessels, trading to or from New Nether- 

The management of the affairs of the Dutch 
Colony was entrusted to a body of merchants called 
the West India Company. In the year 1629, this 
energetic company purchased of the Indians the 
exclusive title to a vast territory, extending north 
from Cape Henlopen, on the south side of Delaware 
Bay, two miles in breadth and running thirty-two 
miles inland. 

The reader of the record of these days, often 
meets with the word Patroon, without perhaps having 
any very distinct idea of its significance. In order 
to encourage emigration and the establishment of 


colonies, the authorities in Holland issued a charter, 
conferring large extents of land and exclusive privi- 
leges, upon such members of the West India 
Company as might undertake to settle any colony 
in New Netherland. 

" All such," it was proclaimed in this charter, 
"shall be acknowledged Patroons oi New Nether- 
land, who shall, within the space of four years, under- 
take to plant a colony there of fifty souls upwards 
of fifteen years of age. The Patroons, by virtue of 
their power, shall be permitted, at such places as 
they shall settle their colonies, to extend their 
limits four miles* along the shore, and so far into 
the country as the situation of the occupiers will 
admit.'' The patroons, thus in possession of territory 
equal to many of the dukedoms and principalities 
of Europe, were invested with the authority which 
had been exercised in Europe by the old feudal 
lords. They could settle all disputes, in civil cases, 
between man and man. They could appoint local 
officers and magistrates, erect courts, and punish all 
crimes committed within their limits, being even 
authorized to inflict death upon the gallows. They 
could purchase any am'junt of unappropriated lands 
from the Indians. 

One of these patroons, Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, 

* Dutch miles, equal to sixteen English miles. 


a wealthy merchant in Holland, who had been accus- 
tomed to polish pearls and diamonds, became, as 
patroon, possessed of nearly the whole of the pres- 
ent counties of Albany and Rensselaer, in the State 
(if New York, embracing the vast area of one thou- 
sand one hundred and forty-one square miles. Soon 
all the important points on the Hudson River and 
the Delaware were thus caught up by these patroons, 
wealthy merchants of the West India Company. 

When the news of these transactions reached 
Holland, great dissatisfaction was felt by the less 
fortunate shareholders, that individuals had grasped 
such a vast extent of territory. It was supposed 
that Director Minuit was too much in sympathy 
with the patroons, who were becoming very power- 
ful, and he was recalled. All were compelled to 
admit that during his administration the condition 
of the colony had been prosperous. The whole of 
Manhattan Island had been honestly purchased of 
the Indians. Industry had flourished. Friendly 
relations were everywhere maintained with the 
natives. The northwestern shores of Long Island 
were sttadded with the log cottages of the settlers. 
During his directorship the exports of the colony 
had trebled, amounting, in the year 1632, to nearly 
fifty thousand dollars. 

We come now to a scene of war, blood and woe, 


for which the Dutch were not at all accountable. 
It will be remembered that a colony had been es- 
tablished near the mouth of Delaware Bay. Two 
vessels were dispatched from Holland for this point 
containing a number of emigrants, a large stock of 
cattle, and whaling equipments, as whales abounded 
in the bay. The ship, called the Walvis, arrived 
upon the coast in April, 163 1. Running along the 
western shore of this beautiful sheet of water, they 
came to a fine navigable stream, which was called 
Horekill, abounding with picturesque islands, with 
a soil of exuberant fertility, and where the waters 
were filled with fishes and very fine oysters. There 
was here also a roadstead unequalled in the whole 
bay for convenience and safety. 

Here the emigrants built a fort and surrounded 
it with palisades, and a thriving Dutch colony of 
about thirty souls was planted. They formally 
named the place, which was near the present town 
of Lewiston, Swaanendael. A pillar was raised, 
surmounted by a plate of glittering tin, upon which 
was emblazoned the arms of Holland ; and which 
also announced that the Dutch claimed the territory 
by the title of discovety, purchase and occupation. 

For a while the affairs of this colony went on very 
prosperously. But in May, 1632, an expedition, 
consisting of two ships, was fitted out from Holland. 


with additional emigrants and supplies. Just before 
the vessels left the Texel, a ship from Manhattan 
brought the melancholy intelligence to Amsterdani 
that the colony at Swaanendael had been destroyed 
by the savages, thirty-two men having been killed 
outside of the fort working in the fields. Still 
DeVrees, who commanded the expedition, hoping 
that the report was exaggerated, and that the col- 
ony might still live, in sadness and disappointment 
proceeded on his way. One of his vessels ran upon 
the sands off Dunkirk, causing a delay of two months. 
It was not until the end of December that the ves- 
sels cast anchor off Swaanendael. No boat from the 
shore approached ; no signs of life met the eye. The 
next morning a boat, thorouglJy armed, was sent 
into the creek on an exploring tour. 

Upon reaching the spot where the fort had been 
erected they found the building and palisades burned, 
and the ground strewn with the bones of their mur- 
dered countrymen, intermingled willi the remains of 
cattle. The silence and solitude of the tombs 
brooded over the devastated region. Not even a 
savage was to be seen. As the bo?t returned with 
these melancholy tidings, DeVrees cpused a heavy 
cannon to be fired, hoping that its thunders, -ever- 
berating over the bay, and echoing through J^^hc trails 
of the wilderness, might reach the ear of «pmff 


friendly Indian, from whom he could learn the de 
tails of the disaster. 

The next morning a smoke was seen curling up 
from the forest near the ruins. The boat was again 
sent into the creek, and two or three Indians were 
seen cautiously prowling about. But mutual dis- 
trust stood in the way of any intercourse. The 
Dutch were as apprehensive of ambuscades and the 
arrows of the Indians, as were the savages of the 
bullets of the formidable strangers. 

Some of the savages at length ventured to come 
down to the shore, off which the open boat floated, 
beyond the reach of arrows. Lured by friendly 
signs, one of the Indians soon became emboldened 
to venture on board. He was treated with great 
kindness, and succeeded in communicating the fol- 
lowing, undoubtedly true, account of the destruc- 
tion of the colony : 

One of the chiefs, seeing the glittering tin plate, 
emblazoned with the arms of Holland, so conspicu- 
ously exposed upon the column, apparently without 
any consciousness that he was doing anything wrong, 
openly, without any attempt at secrecy, took it 
down and quite skilfully manufactured it into to- 
bacco pipes. The commander of the fort, a man by 
the name of Hossett, complained so bitterly of this, 
as an outrage that must not pass unavenged, that 


some of the friendly Indians, to win his favor, killed 
the chief, and brought to Hossett his head, or some 
other decisive evidence that the deed was done. 

The commandant was shocked at this severity of 
retribution, so far exceeding anything which he had 
desired, and told the savages that they had done 
very wrong ; that they should only have arrested 
the chief and brought him to the fort. The com- 
mandant would simply have reprimanded him and 
forbidden him to repeat the offence. 

The ignorant Indians of the tribe, whose chief 
had thus summarily, and, as they felt, unjustly been 
put to death, had all their savage instincts roused 
to intensity. They regarded the strangers at the 
fort as instigating the deed and responsible for it. 
They resolved upon bloody vengeance. 

A party of warriors, thoroughly armed, came 
stealing through the glades of the forest and ap- 
proached the unsuspecting fort. All the men were 
at work in the fields excepting one, who was left 
sick at home. There was also chained up in the 
fort, a powerful and faithful mastiff, of whom the In- 
dians stood in great dread. Three of the savages, 
concealing, as far as they could, their weapons, ap- 
proached the fort, under the pretence of bartering 
some beaver skins. They met Hossett, the com- 
mander, not far from the door. He entered the 


house with them, not having the slightest suspicion 
of their hostile intent. He ascended some steep 
stairs into the attic, where the stores for trade were 
deposited, and as he was coming down, one of the 
Indians, watching his opportunity, struck him dead 
v.'ith an axe. They then killed the sick man. 
Standing at a cautious distance, they shot twenty- 
five arrows into the chained mastiff till he sank mo- 
tionless in death. 

The colonists in the field, in the meantime, were 
entirely unaware of the awful scenes which were 
transpiring, and of their own impending peril. The 
wily Indians approached them, under the guise of 
friendship. Each party had its marked man. At a 
given signal, with the utmost ferocity they fell upon 
their victims. With arrows, tomahawks and war- 
clubs, the work was soon completed. Not a man 

The Administration of Van Twiller. 

Fiiendljr Relations Restored. — Wouter Van Twiller New Direc- 
tor. — Captain Elkins. — Remonstrance of De Vrees. — Claims fol 
the Connecticut. — The Plymouth Expedition. — A Boat's Crew 
Murdered. — Condition of the Colony in 1633. — Emigration to 
the Connecticut. — Emigrants from Holland. — The Red Rocks. — 
New Haven Colony Established. — Natural. — Indian Remon- 
strance Against Taxation. — Outrage upon the Raritan Indians. — 
Indian Revenge. 

De Vrees very wisely decided that it would be 
but a barren vengeance to endeavor to retaliate 
upon the roaming savages, when probably more suf- 
fering would be inflicted upon the innocent than 
upon the guilty. He therefore, to their astonish- 
ment and great joy, entered into a formal treaty of 
peace and alliance with them. Any attempt to bring 
the offenders to justice would of course have been 
unavailing, as they could easily scatter, far and wide, 
through the trackless wilderness. Arrangements 
were made for re-opening trade, and the Indians 
with alacrity departed to hunt beaver. 

A new Director was appointed at Manhattan, 
Wouter Van Twiller. He was an inexperienced young 


man, and owed his appointment to the powerful pa- 
tronage he enjoyed from having married the niece 
of the patroon Van Rensselaer. Thus a " raw Am- 
sterdam clerk," embarked in a ship of twenty guns, 
with a military force of one hundred and four sol- 
diers, to assume the government of New Nether- 
land. The main object of this mercantile governor 
seemed to be to secure trade with the natives and 
to send home furs. 

De Vrees, having concluded his peace with the In- 
dians, sailed up the South river, as they then called 
the Delaware, through the floating ice, to a trading 
post, which had been established some time before 
at a point about four miles below the present site 
of Philadelphia. He thought he saw indications of 
treachery, and was constantly on his guard. He 
found the post, which was called Fort Nassau, like 
a similar post on the Hudson, deserted. The chiefs, 
however, of nine different tribes, came on board, 
bringing presents of beaver skins, avowing the most 
friendly feelings, and they entered into a formal 
treaty with the Dutch. There did not, however, 
seem to be any encouragement again to attempt the 
establishment of a colony, or of any trading posts 
in that region. He therefore abandoned the Dela- 
ware river, and for some time no further attempts 
were made to colonize its coasts. 


In April, 1633, an English ship arrived at Man- 
hattan. The bluff captain, Jacob Elkins, who had 
formerly been in the Dutch employ, but had been 
dismissed from their service, refused to recognize 
the Dutch authorities, declaring that New Nether- 
land was English territory, discovered by Hudson, 
an Englishman. It was replied that though Hud- 
son was an Englishman, he was in the service of the 
East India Company at Amsterdam ; that no Eng- 
lish colonists had ever settled in the region, and 
that the river itself was named Mauritius river, after 
the Prince of Orange. 

Elkins was not to be thus dissuaded. He had 
formerly spent four years at this post, and was thor- 
oughly acquainted with the habits and language of 
the Indians. His spirit was roused. He declared 
that he would sail up the river if it cost him his life. 
Van Twiller was equally firm in his refusal. He or- 
dered the Dutch flag to be run up at fort Amster- 
dam, and a salute to be fired in honor of the Prince 
of Orange. Elkins, in retaliation, unfurled the Eng- 
lish flag at his mast-head, and fired a salute in hon- 
or of King Charles. After remaining a week at fort 
Amsterdam, and being refused a license to ascend 
the river, he defiantly spread his colors to the 
breeze, weighed anchor, and boldly sailed up the 


stream to fort Orange. This was the first British 
vessel which ascended the North river. 

The pusillanimous Van Twiller was in a great 
rage, but had no decision of character to guide him 
in such an emergency. The merchant clerk, invest- 
ed with gubernatorial powers, found himself in wa- 
ters quite beyond his depth. He collected all the 
people of the fort, broached a cask of wine, and rail- 
ed valiantly at the intrepid Englishman, whose ship 
was fast disappearing beyond the palisades. His 
conduct excited only the contempt and derision of 
those around. 

DeVrees was a man of very different fibre. He 
had, but a few days before, entered the port from 
Swaanendael. He dined with the Governor that 
day, and said to him in very intelligible Dutch : 

" You have committed a great folly. Had it 
been my case, I would have helped the Englishman 
to some eight pound iron beans, and have pre- 
vented him from going up the river. The English 
are of so haughty a nature that they think that 
everything belongs to them. I would immediately 
send a frigate after him, and drive him out of the 

Stimulated by this advice. Van Twiller prepared, 
as speedily as possible, three well armed vessels, 
strongly manned with soldiers, and sent them, under 


an intrepid captain, in pursuit of the intruders. 
They found the English ship, the William, about a 
mile below fort Orange. A tent was pitched upon 
the shore, where, for a fortnight, the English had 
been pursuing a very lucrative traffic for furs. The 
Dutch soldiers were in strength which Elkins could 
not resist. 

They ordered him to strike his tent. He refused. 
They did it for him ; reshipped all his goods which 
he had transferred to the shore, to trade with the 
Indians, and also the furs which he had purchased. 
They then weighed the anchors of the William, un- 
furled her sails, and, with trumpet blasts of victory, 
brought the ship, captain and crew down to fort 
Amsterdam. The ship was then convoyed to sea, 
and the discomfited Elkins returned to London. 
Thus terminated, in utter failure, the first attempt 
of the English to enter into trade with the Indians 
of New Netherland. 

The Dutch were now the only Europeans who 
had occupied any part of the present territory of 
New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. 
They were also carrying on a very flourishing trade 
with the Indians on the Connecticut river, which 
was then called Fresh river, and this " long before 
any English had dreamed of going there." The 
value of this traffic may be inferred from the fact 


that, in the year 1633, sixteen thousand beaver 
skins were sent to Holland from the North river 

To strengthen their title, thus far founded on 
discovery and exclusive visitation, the Dutch, in 
1632, purchased of the Indians nearly all of the 
lands on both sides of the Connecticut river, includ- 
ing Saybrook Point, at the mouth, where the arms 
of the States-General were affixed to a tree in token 
of possession. A fort was also comm.enced, near the 
mouth of the river, and a trading post established 
some miles up the stream, at the point now occupied 
by the city of Hartford. 

About the same time, Lord Warwick, assuming 
that a legitimate grant of the region had been made 
to him by the king of England, conveyed to Lords 
Say, Brook and others, all the territory running 
southwest from Narragansett river, to the distance 
of one hundred and twenty miles along the coast, 
and reaching back, through the whole breadth of 
the country, from the Western Ocean to the South 
Sea. The geography of these regions was then very 
imperfectly known. No one had any conception of 
the vast distance between the Atlantic Ocean and 
the shores of the Pacific. The trading post, which 
the Dutch had established on the Connecticut, was 
called Fort Hope. 


As soon as it was known, at Plymouth and Bos- 
ton, that the Dutch had taken formal possession of 
the valley of the Connecticut, Governor Winslow 
hastened to confer with the Massachusetts Gover- 
nor respecting their duties. As it was doubtful 
whether the region of the Connecticut was embraced 
\frithin either of their patents, they decided not to 
interfere. But through diplomatic policy Ihey as- 
signed a different reason for their. refusal. 

"In regard,'' said Governor Winthrop, " chat the 
place was not fit for plantation, there being three or 
four thousand warlike Indians, and the river not to 
be gone into but by small pinnaces, having a bar 
affording but six feet at high water, and for that no 
vessel can get in for seven months in the jear, partly 
by reason of the ice, and then the violent stream, 
we thought not fit to meddle with it."* 

Still Governor Winthrop looked wistfully towards 
the Connecticut. Though he admitted that the 
lower part of the valley was " out of the claim of 
the Massaclmsetts patent," it could not be denied 
that the upper part of the valley was included in 
their grant. In the summer of 1633, John Oldham, 
with three companions, penetrated the wilderness, 
through the Indian trails, one hundred and sixty 
miles to the Connecticut river. They were hospita^ 

* Morton's memorial, page 176. 


bly entertained in the many Indian villages they 
passed through by the way. 

They brought back early in the autumn, glowing 
accounts of the beauty of the region, and of the 
luxuriant meadows which bordered the stream. 
Governor Winthrop then sent a vessel on a trading 
voyage, through Long Island Sound, to Manhattan, 
there to inform the Dutch authorities that the king 
of England had granted the Connecticut river and 
the adjacent country to the subjects of Great Britain. 

In most of these transactions the Dutch appear 
to great advantage. After five weeks' absence the 
vessel returned to Boston to report the friendly 
reception of the Massachusetts party at Manhattan, 
and bearing a courteous letter to Governor Win- 
throp, in which Van Twiller, in respectful terms, 
urged him to defer his claim to Connecticut until 
the king of England and the States-General of 
Holland should agree about their limits, so that the 
colonists of both nations, might live "as good neigh- 
bors in these heathenish countries." Director Van 
Twiller added, with good sense, which does him 
much credit : 

" I have, in the name of the States-General and 
the West India Company, taken possession of the 
forementioned river, and, for testimony thereof, have 
set up an house on the north side of the said river. 


It is not the intent of the States to take the land 
from the poor natives, but rather to take it at some 
reasonable price, which, God be praised, we have 
done hitherto. In this part of the world there are 
many heathen lands which are destitute of inhabi- 
tants, so that there need not be any question respect- 
ing a little part or portion thereof." 

At the same time the Plymouth colony made a 
move to obtain a foothold upon the Connecticut. 
To secure the color of a title, the colony purchased 
of a company of Indians who had been driven from 
their homes by the all-victorious Pequods, a tract of 
land just above fort Hope, embracing the territory 
where the town of Windsor now stands. Lieuten- 
ant Holmes was then dispatched with a chosen 
company, in a vessel which conveyed the frame of a 
small bouse carefully stowed away, and which could 
be very expeditiously put together. He was di- 
rected to push directly by fort Hope, and raise 
and fortify his house upon -the purchased lands. 
Governor Bradford, of Plymouth, gives the following 
quaint account of this adventure : 

" When they came up the river the Dutch 
demanded what they intended, and whither they 
would go ? They answered, ' up the river to trade.' 
Now their order was to go and seat above them. 
They bid them strike and stay or they would shoot 


them, and stood by their ordnance ready fitted. 
They answered, they had commission from the 
Governor of Plymouth to go up the river to such a 
place, and if they did shoot they must obey their 
order and proceed ; they would not molest them but 
go on. So they passed along. And though the 
Dutch threatened them hard yet they shot not. 
Coming to their place they clapped up their house 
quickly, and landed their provisions, and left the 
company appointed, and sent the bark home, and 
afterward palisaded their house about, and fortified 
themselves better." 

Van Twiller, informed of this intrusion, sent a 
commissioner, protesting against this conduct and 
ordering Holmes to depart, with all his people. 
Holmes replied, " I am here in the name of the 
king of England, and here I shall remain." 

Matters soon became seriously complicated. A 
boat's crew was robbed and murdered by some vaga 
bond Indians. The culprits were taken and hung 

This exasperated against the Dutch the power- 
ful Pequods who had the supremacy over all that 
territory. Open war soon ensued. The Pequods 
sent an embassy to Boston, and entered into a treaty 
of alliance with the Massachusetts colony, in which 
they surrendered to that colony the Connecticut 


In the meantime, Van Twiller having received 
instructions from the home government, dispatched 
a force of seventy well armed men to drive Lieuten- 
ant Holmes and his men from their post. The Eng- 
lish stood firmly upon their defence. The Dutch, 
seeing that a bloody battle must ensue, with uncer- 
tain results, withdrew without offering any violence. 
In many respects the Dutch colonies continued to 
enjoy much prosperity. Mr. Brodhead gives the 
following interesting account of the state of affairs 
at the mouth of the Hudson, in the year 1633 : 

" Fort Amsterdam, which had become dilapi- 
dated, was repaired, and a guard-house and a bar- 
rack for the newly arrived soldiers were constructed 
within the ramparts, at a cost of several thousand 

" Three expensive windmills were also erected. 
But they were injudiciously placed so near the fort 
that the buildings, within its walls, frequently inter- 
cepted and turned off the south wind. 

" Several brick and frame houses were built for 
the Director and his officers. On the Company's 
farm, north of the fort, a dwelling-house, brewery, 
boat-house and barn were erected. Other smaller 
houses were built for the corporal, the smith, the 
cooper. The loft, in which the people had wor^ 
shipped since 1626, was now replaced by a pliin 


wooden building, like a barn, situated on the East 
River, in what is now Broad street, between Pearl 
and Bridge streets. Near this old church a dwelling- 
house and stable were erected for the use of the 
Domine. In the Fatherland the title of Domine 
was familiarly given to clergymen. The phrase 
crossed the Atlantic with Bogardus, and it has sur- 
vived to the present day among the descendants of 
the Dutch colonists of New Netherland." 

The little settlement at Manhattan was entitled 
to the feudal right of levying a tax upon all the 
merchandise passing up or down the river. The 
English were, at this time, so ignorant of this re- 
gion of the North American coast that a sloop was 
dispatched to Delaware Bay " to see if there were 
any river there.'' As the Dutch had vacated the 
Delaware, the English decided to attempt to ob- 
tain a foothold on those waters. Accordingly, in 
the year 1635, they sent a party of fourteen or 
fifteen Englishmen, under George Holmes, to seize 
the vacant Dutch fort. 

Van Twiller, informed of this fact, with much 
energy sent an armed vessel, by which the whole 
company was arrested and brought to Manhattan, 
whence they were sent, " pack and sack," to an 
English settlement on the Chesapeake. 

The Plymouth people had now been two years 


in undisturbed possession of their post at Windsor, 
on the Connecticut. Stimulated by their example, 
the General Court of Massachusetts encouraged 
emigration to the Connecticut valley, urging, as a 
consideration, their need of pasturage for their in- 
creasing flocks and herds ; the great beauty and 
fruitfulness of the Connecticut valley, and the dan- 
ger that the Dutch, or other English colonies, might 
get possession of it. "Like the banks of the Hud- 
son," it was said, " the Connecticut had been first 
explored and even occupied by the Dutch. But 
should a log hut and a few straggling soldiers seal a 
territory against other emigrants ? "* 

Thus solicited, families from Watertown and 
Roxbury commenced a settlement at Wethersfield 
in the year 1635. Some emigrants, from Dorches- 
ter, established themselves just below the colony of 
the Plymouth people at Windsor. This led to a 
stern remonstrance on the part of Governor Brad- 
ford, of Plymouth, denouncing their unrighteous in- 
trusion. " Thus the Plymouth colonists on the Con- 
necticut, themselves intruders within the territory 
of New Netherland, soon began to quarrel with 
their Massachusetts brethren for trespassing upon 
their usurped domain." 

In November of this year, Governor Winthrop 

• Hist, of New York, by John Rouieyn Brodhead. Vol. I, p 21,7. 


dispatched a bark of twenty tons from Boston, with 
about twenty armed men, to take possession of the 
mouth of the Connecticut. It will be remembered 
that the Dutch had purchased this land of the In- 
dians three years before, and, in token of their pos- 
session, had affixed the arms of the States-General 
to a tree. The English contemptuously tore down 
these arms, "and engraved a ridiculous face in their 

The Dutch had called this region, Kievit's 
Hook. The English named it Saybrook, in honor 
of lords Say and Brook, who were regarded as the 
leading English proprietors. Early the next year the 
Massachusetts people established a colony at Aga- 
wam, now Springfield. Thus, step by step, the Eng- 
lish encroached upon the Dutch, until nearly the 
whole valley of the Connecticut was wrested from 

About this time Van Twiller issued a grant of 
sixty-two acres of land, a little northwest of fort 
Amsterdam, to Roelof Jansen. This was the origi 
nal conveyance of the now almost priceless estate, 
held by the corporation of Trinity Church. The di- 
rectors, in Holland, encouraged emigration by all 
the means in their power. Free passage was offer- 
ed to farmers and their families. They were also 
promised the lease of a farm, fit for the plough, for 


six years, with a dwelling house, a barn, four horses 
and four cows. They were to pay a rent for these 
six years, of forty dollars a year, and eighty pounds 
of butter. 

At the expiration of the six years the tenants 
were to restore the number of cattle they had re- 
ceived, retaining the increase. They were also as- 
sisted with clothing, provisions, etc., on credit, at an 
advance of fifty per cent. But notwithstanding 
the rapid increase of the Dutch settlements, thus 
secured, the English settlements were increasing 
with still greater rapidity. Not satisfied with their 
encroachments on the Connecticut, the English 
looked wistfully upon the fertile lands extending 
between that stream and the Hudson. 

The region about New Haven, which, from the 
East and West rocks, was called the Red Rocks, at- 
tracted especial attention. Some men from Bos- 
ton, who had visited it, greatly extolled the beauty 
and fertility of the region, declaring it to be far 
superior to Massachusetts Bay. " The Dutch will 
seize it," they wrote, " if we do not. And it is too 
good for any but friends." 

Just then an English non-conformist clergyman, 
John Davenport, and two merchants from London, 
men of property and high religious worth, arrived 
at Boston. They sailed to the Red Rocks, purcha* 


ed a large territory of the Indians, and regardless of 
the Dutch title, under the shadow of a great oak, 
laid the foundations of New Haven. The colony 
was very prosperous, and, in one year's time, num- 
bered over one hundred souls. 

And now the English made vigorous efforts to 
gain all the lands as far west as the Hudson river. 
A village of fifty log huts soon rose at Stratford, 
near the Housatonic. Enterprising emigrants also 
pushed forward as far as Norwalk, Stamford and 
Greenwich. The colony at Saybrook consisted in 
1640, of a hundred houses, and a fine church. The 
Dutch now held, in the Connecticut valley, only the 
flat lands around fort Hope. And even these the 
English began to plough up. They cudgelled those 
of the Dutch garrison who opposed them, say- 
ing, " It would be a sin to leave uncultivated so 
valuable a land which can produce such excellent 

The English now laid claim to the whole of Long 
Island, and commenced a settlement at its eastern 
extremity. In the meantime very bitter complaints 
were sent to Holland respecting the incapacity of 
the Director Van Twiller. It was said that he, neg- 
lecting the affairs of the colony, was directing all 
his energies to enriching himself. He had become, 
it was reported, the richest landholder in the prov- 


ince. Though sustained by very powerful friends, he 
was removed. 

William Kieft was appointed in his stead, the 
fifth Director. He was a man of very unenviable 
reputation, and his administration was far from 
successful. Mr. Brodhead gives the following true 
and very interesting account of the abundant natu- 
ral resources of the Dutch settlements on the 
Hudson at this time: 

" The colonists lived amid nature's richest profu- 
sion. In the forests, by the water side, and on the 
islands, grew a rank abundance of nuts and plums. 
The hills were covered with thickets of blackberries. 
On the flat lands, near the rivers, wild strawberries 
came up so plentifully that the people went there 
to lie down and eat them. Vines, covered with 
grapes as good and sweet as in Holland, clambered 
over the loftiest trees. Deer abounded in the 
forests, in harvest time and autumn, as fat as any 
Holland deer can be. Enormous wild turkeys and 
myriads of partridges, pheasants and pigeons roosted 
in the neighboring woods. Sonrietimes the turkeys 
and deer came down to the houses of the colonists 
to feed. A stag was frequently sold by the Indians 
for a loaf of bread, or a knife, or even for a tobacco 
pipe. The river produced the finest fish. There 
was a great plenty of sturgeon, which, at that tiniq 


the christians did not make use of, but the Indians 
ate them greedily. Flax and hemp grew sponta- 
neously. Peltries and hides were brought in great 
quantities, by the savages, and sold for trifles. The 
land was very well provisioned with all the necessa- 
ries of life."* 

Thus far, as a general rule, friendly relations had 
existed between the Dutch and the Indians. But 
all sorts of characters were now emigrating from the 
old world. The Indians were often defrauded, or 
treated harshly. Individuals among the natives 
retaliated by stealing. When caught they were 
severely punished. Notwithstanding the govern- 
ment prohibited the sale of muskets to the Indians, 
so eager were the savages to gain these weapons, so 
invaluable to them on their hunting-fields, that they 
would offer almost any price for them. Thus the 
Mohawks ere long obtained " guns, powder and 
bullets for four hundred warriors." 

Kieft endeavored to tax the Indians, extorting 
payment in corn and furs. This exasperated them. 
Their reply, through one of their chiefs, would have 
lione honor to any deliberative assembly. Indig- 
nantly the chief exclaimed : 

" How can the sachem at the fort dare to exact 
a tax from us 1 He must be a very shabby fellow 
* History of the State of New York, p. 203. 


He has come to li^-e in our land when we have not 
invited him ; and now he attempts to deprive us of 
our corn for nothing. The soldiers at fort Amster- 
dam are no protection to us. Why should we be 
called upon to support them ? We have allowed the 
Dutch to live peaceably in our country, and have 
never demanded of them any recompense. When 
they lost a ship here, and built a new one, we sup- 
plied them with food and all other necessaries. 
We took care of them for two winters until their 
ship was finished. The Dutch are under obligations 
lo us. We have paid full price for everything we. 
have purchased of them. There is, therefore, no 
reason why we should supply them with corn and 
furs for nothing. If we have ceded to them the 
country they are living in, we yet remain masters 
of what we have retained for ourselves." 

This unanswerable argument covered the whole 
ground. The most illiterate Indian could feel the 
force of such logic. 

Some European vagabonds, as it was afterwards 
clearly proved, stole some swine from Staten Island. 
The blame was thrown upon the innocent Raritan 
Indians, who lived twenty miles inland. The rash 
Director Kieft resolved to punish them with severi 
ty which should be a warning to all the Indians. 

He sent to this innocent, unsuspecting tribe, a 


party of seventywell armed men, many of them un- 
principled desperadoes. They fell upon the peace- 
ful Indians, brutally killed several, destroyed their 
crops, and perpetrated all sorts of outrages. 

The Indians never forget a wrong. The spirit of 
revenge burned in their bosoms. There was a thriv- 
ing plantation belonging to DeVrees on Staten Isl- 
and. The Indians attacked it, killed four of the 
la':orers, burned the dwelling and destroyed the 
crops. Kieft, in his blind rage, resolved upon the 
extermination of the Raritans. He offered a large 
bounty for the head of any member of that tribe. 

It will be remembered that some years before an 
Indian had been robbed and murdered near the 
pond, in the vicinity of the fort at Manhattan, and 
that his nephew, a boy, had escaped. That boy was 
now a man, and, through all these years, with almost 
religious scrupulousness, had been cherishing his 
sense of duty to avenge his uncle's unatoned death. 

A very harmless Dutchman, by the name of 
Claes Smits, had reared his solitary hut upon the 
Indian trail near the East river. The nephew of 
the murdered savage came one day to this humble 
dwelling, and stopped under the pretence of selling 
some beaver skins. As Smits was stooping over the 
great chest in which he kept his goods, the savage, 
seizing an axe, killed him by a single blow. In do 


ing this, he probably felt the joys of an approving 
conscience, — a conscience all uninstructed in relig- 
ious truth — and thanked the great spirit that he had 
at length been enabled to discharge his duty in 
avenging his uncle's death. 

Kieft sent to the chief of the tribe, demanding 
the murderer. The culprit Indian sent back the re- 

" When the fort was building some years ago, 
my uncle and I, carrying some beaver skins to the 
fort to trade, were attacked by some Dutchmen, who 
killed my uncle and stole the furs. This happened 
when I was a small boy. I vowed to revenge it 
upon the Dutch when I grew up. I saw no better 
chance than this of Claes Smits." 

The sachem refused to deliver up the criminal, 
saying that he had but done his duty, according to 
the custom of his race, in avenging the death of his 
kirisman, murdered many years before. Kieft was 
exceedingly embarrassed. He was very unpopular ; 
was getting the colony deeper and deeper into dififi- 
culty, and was accused of seeking war with the In- 
dians that he " might make a wrong reckoning with 
the Company." 

In this emergency, that others might share the 
responsibility with him, he reluctantly sought the 
counsel of the community. Twelve " select men ' 


were chosen to consider the propositions to be sub- 
mitted to them by the Director. To them the ques- 
tion was propounded : 

" Is it not just, that the murder lately committed 
by a savage, upon Claes Smits, be avenged and pun- 
ished ? In case the Indians will not surrender the 
murderer, is it not just to destroy the whole village 
to which he belongs ? In what manner, when, and 
by whom ought this to be executed?" 

The result of their deliberations was, in brief, as 
follows : " Our harvest is still ungathered ; our cat- 
tle are scattered in the woods. Many of the inhabi- 
tants, unsuspicious of danger, are at a distance. It 
is not best to precipitate hostilities. In the mean- 
time let two hundred coats of mail be procured in 
preparation for the expedition. Let our friendly in- 
tercourse with the savages be uninterrupted, to 
throw them off their guard. When the hunting sea- 
son commences, let two armed bands be sent out to 
attack the Indians from opposite directions. Let as 
many negroes as can be spared, be sent on this ex- 
pedition, each armed with tomahawk and half-pike. 
Still let messengers be sent once, twice and even a 
third time to solicit the surrender of the murderer." 

The Governor had the reputation of being an 
arrant coward. It had often been said, " It is very 
well for him to send us into the field, while he se- 


cures his. own life in a good fort, out of which he 
has not slept a single night in all the years he has 
been here." They therefore shrewdly added, " The 
Governor himself ought to lead the van in this at- 
tack. We will follow his steps and obey his com- 

The hunting season soon came. Still it was de- 
cided to delay hostilities. The savages were on 
their guard. A very general feeling of unfriendli- 
ness pervaded the tribes. The Dutch settlers were 
widely scattered. A combination of the Indians 
against the colonists might prove an awful calamity. 
Thus, for a time, the war which was evidently ap- 
proaching was averted. 

War and Its Devastations. 

Approaching Hostilities. — Noble Remonstrance. — Massacre of tlie 
Natives. — The War Storm. — Noble conduct of DeVrees. — The 
Humiliation of Kieft. — Wide-Spread Desolation. — The Reign 
of Terror. — State of Affairs at Fort Nassau. — The Massacre at 
Stamford. — Memorial of the Select Men. — Kieft Superseded by 
Peter Stuyvesant. 

The year 5643 was a year of terror and of blood 
in nearly all of the American colonies. New Eng- 
land was filled with alarm in the apprehension of a 
general rising of the Indians. It was said that a 
benighted traveller could not halloo in the woods 
without causing fear that the savages were torturing 
their European captives. This universal panic per- 
vaded the Dutch settlements. The wildest stories 
were circulated at the firesides of the lonely settlers. 
Anxiety and terror pervaded all the defenceless 

DeVrees, rambling one day with his gun upon 
his shoulder, met an Indian " who was very drunk." 
Coming up to the patroon, the Indian patted him 
upon the shoulder, in token of friendship, saying, 

"You are a good chief. When we come to see 


you, you give us milk to drink. I have just come 
from Hackensack where they sold me brandy, and 
then stole my beaver skin coat. I will take a 
bloody revenge. I will go home for my bow and 
arrows, and shoot one of those rascally Dutchmen 
who have stolen my coat." 

DeVrees endeavored in vain to soothe him 
He had hardly reached his home ere he heard that 
the savage had kept his vow. He had shot and 
killed an innocent man, one Garret Van Voorst, who 
was thatching the roof of a house. The chiefs of 
the tribe were terror-stricken, through fear of the 
white man's vengeance. They did not dare to go 
to the fort lest they should be arrested and held as 
hostages. But they hastened to an interview with 
DeVrees, in whom they had confidence, and express- 
ed a readiness to make atonement for the crime, in 
accordance with the custom of their tribe, by paying 
a large sum to the widow of the murdered man. 

It is worthy of notice that this custom, so uni- 
versal among the Indians, of a blood atonement of 
money, was also the usage of the tribes of Greece 
We read in Homer's Iliad, as translated by Pope, 

" If a brother bleed. 
On just atonement we remit the deed ; 
A sire the slaughter of his sons forgives, 
The price of blood discharged, the murderer liTcs." 


At length, encouraged by DeVrees and accom- 
panied by him, the chiefs ventured to fort Amster- 
dam. They explained to Kieft the occurrence, and 
proposed the expiatory offering to appease the wid- 
ow's grief. Kieft was inexorable. Nothing but the 
blood of the criminal would satisfy him. In vain 
they represented that he was the son of a beloved 
chief, and that already he had fled far away to some 
distant tribe. Our sympathy for these men is 
strongly excited as we read their sorrowful yet no- 
ble remonstrance : 

" Why," said they, " will you sell brandy to our 
young men ? They are not used to it. It makes 
them crazy. Even your own people, who are ac- 
customed to strong liquors, sometimes become 
drunk and fight with knives. Sell no more strong 
drink to the Indians, if you will avoid such mis- 

While this question was being agitated, the Mo- 
hawks from the upper part of the Hudson, came 
down in strong military bands, armed with mus- 
kets, upon the lower river tribes, attacked them 
with great ferocity, killed quite a number of their 
warriors, took the women and children captive, and 
destroyed their villages. 

The lower river tribes all trembled before the 
terrible Iroquois. Large numbers of these subjuga- 


ted tribes fled from the river banks, and from the 
region of Westchester, to Manhattan and to Pavo- 
nia, where Jersey City now stands. Here, stripped 
and panic-stricken, they encamped, " full a thousand 

The humane and judicious patroon, DeVrees, 
in whom the Indians seem to have reposed great 
confidence, had a beautiful estate several miles up 
the river, at a place called Vreesendael. It was a 
delightful spot of about five hundred fertile acres, 
through which wound a fine stream affording hand- 
some mill seats. The meadows yielded hay enough 
spontaneously for two hundred head of cattle. 

DeVrees, finding his house full of fugitive sav- 
ages, on their retreat to Pavonia, at the mouth of 
the river, paddled down in a canoe through the 
floating ice to fort Amsterdam, to confer with Direc- 
tor Kieft upon the emergency. He urged upon 
the Director that these poor Indians, thus escaping 
from the terrible Iroquois and grateful for the pro- 
tection which the Dutch had not denied them, might 
easily be won to a sincere friendship. On the other 
hand, some of the more fiery spirits in the colony 
thought that the occasion furnished them with an 
opportunity so to cripple the Indians as to render 
them forever after powerless. They sent in a pe- 
tition to Kieft, saying, 


" We entreat that immediate hostile measures 
may be directed against the savages. They have 
not yet dehvered up the assassins of Smits and Van 
Voorst, and thus these murders remain unavenged. 
The national character of the Dutch must suffer. 
God has now delivered our enemies into our hands. 
Let us attack them. We offer our services, and urge 
that united parties of soldiers and civilians assail 
them at several points." 

These views were in entire harmony with the 
wishes of the sanguinary Kieft. He was delighted 
with the prospect of a war in which victory seemed 
easy and certain. Disregarding the remonstrances 
of DeVrees, and of the christian minister Bogardus, 
he made efficient preparation for the slaughter of 
the helpless savages. 

He sent his secretary and a military officer across 
the river to reconnoitre the position of the Indians. 
There were two bands of these trembling fugitives, 
one at Pavonia, on the Jersey side of the river, and 
one at Corlaer's Hook, on the Island of Manhattan, 
just above fort Amsterdam. Secretly, at midnight 
o'' the 25th of February, 1643, the armed bands ad- 
vanced against their unsuspecting victims. They 
were sleeping in fancied security when the murder- 
ous assault commenced. 

" The noise of muskets," writes Brodhead, " min 


gled with the shrieks of the terrified Indians. Nei- 
ther age nor sex were spared. Warrior and squaw, 
sachem and child, mother and babe, were alike mas- 
sacred. Daybreak scarcely ended the furious slaugh- 
ter. Mangled victims, seeking safety in the thickets, 
were driven into the river. Parents, rushing to save 
their children whom the soldiers had thrown into 
the stream, were driven back into the waters and 
drowned before the eyes of their unrelenting mur- 

" I sat up that night," writes DcVrees, " by the 
kitchen fire at the Directors. About midnight, 
hearing loud shrieks, I ran up to the ramparts of the 
fort. Looking towards Pavonia, I saw nothing but 
shooting, and heard nothing but the shrieks of In- 
dians murdered in their sleep.'' 

With the dawn of the morning the victorious 
Dutch returned from their scene of slaughter, bear- 
ing with them about thirty prisoners, and the heads 
instead of the scalps of many warriors. Kieft wel- 
comed these blood-stained men with " shaking of 
hands and congratulations." The tidings of this 
outrage spread far and wide among the Indian 
tribes in the valley of the Hudson and on the Long 
I Island shore. 

Private enterprise, relying upon the protection 
of Kieft, had sent out a foraging expedition upon 


Long Island. Kieft assumed that he saw signs 
of hDstility there. The unsuspecting savages were 
plundered of two wagon loads of grain. These 
Indians, who had thus far been the warmest friends 
of the Dutch, were now justly roused to the highest 
pitch of indignation. They immediately made com- 
mon cause with the river tribes, who were almost 
frenzied with the desire to avenge the midnight 
massacres of Pavonia and Manhattan. The storm 
which thus burst upon New Netherland was sudden 
and awful. The savages, in their rage, developed 
energy and power totally unanticipated. 

Eleven tribes combined in the most furious 
and merciless attacks upon the lonely farm-houses. 
Everywhere the war-whoop resounded, and the 
plumed and painted savages emerged from swamps 
and thickets, and assailed every unprotected dwell- 
ing. The farmer was shot in the field, his dwelling 
burned, and his wife and children were thrown into 
the flames. Many women and children, their lives 
being spared, were carried into captivity worse than 
death. Houses, haystacks and granaries were fired. 
Cattle were slain or driven off, and crops destroyed. 

Terror held high carnival. From the banks of 
the Raritan to the valley of the Hous.itonic, over a 
region of hundreds of square miles, not a plantation 
was safe. Men, women and children, haggard with 


hunger, exposure and woe, fled from their deserted 
homes to fort Amsterdam. Despairing of ever again 
finding peaceful residence in this new world, with 
one voice they demanded a return to the fatherland. 
The Dutch colonies were threatened with immediate 
and entire depopulation. 

Kieft himself was terrified in view of the fright- 
ful storm he had raised. He was compelled to enlist 
every able-bodied man as a soldier. There was an 
end to all traffic, to all agriculture, to all the arts of 
industry. Even the plantation of the humane De- 
Vrees did not escape the undiscriminating wrath ol 
the savages. The outhouses, cattle and crops were 
utterly destroyed. Quite a number of the terrified 
colonists had taken refuge in the manor house which 
DeVrees had prudently built very strong, and con- 
structed with loopholes for musketry. 

The Indians were besieging the place, when one 
of their tribe came, whom DeVrees had assisted 
to escape from the massacre at Manhattan. He 
told the story of his escape and said that DeVrees 
was a good chief whom they ought to respect. 
The Indians held a short consultation, and then the 
grateful savages deputed one of their number to 
advance within speaking distance of the manor 
house. This man, whom we call a savage, cried 
out : 


" We are very sorry that we have destroyed the 
outhouses, the cattle and the crops. We now know 
that chief DeVrees is a good chief and our friend. 
If we had not destroyed his property we would not 
do so. We will not harm the brewery, though we 
all greatly need the copper kettle to make barbs for 
our arrows.'' 

These noble red men, for we must think they 
exhibited a noble spirit, then departed. DeVrees 
was, at the time, in the manor house. He hastened 
down the river to fort Amsterdam and indignantly 
addressing the governor, said : 

" Has it not happened just as I foretold, that you 
are only helping to shed christian blood ? Who will 
now compensate us for our losses?'' 

The wretched Kieft had not one word to reply. 
He however, made a weak and unavailing attempt 
to appease the wrath of the Long Island Indians. 
But the roaring tornado of savage vengeance could 
not thus be divested of its terrors. The messengers 
he sent, approaching a band of Indians, cried out to 
them, " We come to you as friends." They shouted 
back contemptuously, "Are you our friends? You 
are only corn thieves." Refusing all intercourse 
they disappeared in the forest. 

During all these scenes the infamous and cow- 
ardly Kieft ensconced himself securely within the 


walls of the fort. The bewailings of ruined farmers, 
and of widows and orphan children rose all around 
him. To divert public clamor, he fitted out several 
expeditions against the Indians. But these expedi- 
tions all returned having accomplished nothing. 

" The proud heart of the Director," writes Brc d- 
head, " began to fail him at last. In one week des- 
olation and sorrow had taken the place of gladness 
and prosperity. The colony entrusted to his charge 
was nearly ruined. It was time to humble himself 
before the Most High, and invoke from heaven the 
mercy which the christian had refused the savage. 

" A day of general fasting and prayer was pro- 
claimed. ' We continue to suffer much trouble and 
loss from the heathen, and many of our inhabitants 
see their lives and property in jeopardy, which is 
doubtless owing to our sins,' was Kieft's contrite 
confession, as he exhorted every one penitently to 
supplicate the mercy of God, ' so that his holy name 
may not, through our iniquities, be blasphemed by 
the heathen.' '' 

The people still held the Director responsible 
for all the consequences which had followed the 
massacres of Pavonia and Corlaer's Hook. They 
boldly talked of arresting and deposing him, and of 
sending him, as a culprit, back to Holland. The 
Director, panic stricken, endeavored to shift the 


responsibility of the insane course which had been 
pursued, upon one Adriansen, an influential burgh- 
er, who was the leading man among the petitioners 
who had counselled war. 

Adriansen was now a ruined man. His own 
plantation had been utterly devastated. Exasperat- 
ed by his losses, he had no disposition to take upon 
himself the burden of that popular odium which had 
now become so heavy. Losing all self-control, he 
seized a sword and a pistol, and rushed into the Di- 
rector's room, with the apparent intention of assas- 
sinating him, exclaiming, " what lies are these you 
are reporting of me." 

He was disarmed and imprisoned. One of his 
servants took a gun, went to the fort and deliber- 
ately discharged the piece at the Director, but with- 
out hitting him. The would-be assassin was shot 
down by a sentinel and his head exposed upon the 
scaffold. Adriansen was sent to Holland" for trial. 

After terrible scenes of suffering, a temporary 
peace was restored through the heroic interposition 
of DeVrees. He was the only man who dared to 
venture among the exasperated Indians. They 
watched over him kindly, and entreated him to be 
cautious in exposing himself, lest harm might befall 
him from some wandering Indians by whom he was 
not known. But the wrongs which the Indians had 


experienced were too deep to be buried in oblivion. 
And there was nothing in the character of Kieft to 
secure their confidence. After the truce of a few 
weeks the war, without any imaginable cause, broke 
out anew. 

All the settlements at Westchester and Long 
Island were laid waste. Scarcely an inhabitant, 
save the roving Indian, was to be found in those re- 
gions. The Dutch were driven out of the whole of 
New Jersey. The settlers on Staten Island were 
trembling in hourly expectation of an assault. 
War's devastating surges of flame and blood swept 
nearly the whole island of Manhattan. Bold men 
ventured to remain well armed, upon a few of the 
farms, or boweries as they were called, in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of the fort, but they were continually 
menaced with attack, night and day. A bowery was 
a farm on which the family resided. A plantation 
was one of those extended tracts of land, which was 
partly cultivated but upon which no settler dwelt. 
There was no protection anywhere for the trem- 
bling population, save in and directly around fort 
Amsterdam. Mr. Brodhead, alluding to these scenes 
of terror, writes, 

" The women and children lay concealed in straw 
huts, while their husbands and fathers mounted 
guard on the crumbling ramparts above For thn 


fort itself was almost defenceless. It resembled 
rather a mole-hill than a fortress against an enemy. 
The cattle, which had escaped destruction, were 
huddled within the walls, and were already begin- 
ning to starve for want of forage. It was indispens- 
able to maintain a constant guard at all hours, for 
seven allied tribes, well supplied with muskets, 
pow5er and ball, which they had procured from 
private traders, boldly threatened to attack the 
dilapidated citadel with all their strength, now 
amounting to fifteen hundred men. 

" So confident had the enemy become, that their 
scouting parties constantly threatened the advanced 
sentinels of the garrison. Ensign Van Dyck, while 
relieving guard at one of the outposts, was wounded 
by a musket ball in his arm. All the forces that the 
Dutch could now muster, besides the fifty or sixty 
soldiers in garrison, were about two hundred free- 
men. With this handful of men was New Nether- 
land to be defended against the implacable fury of 
her savage foe." 

For a time the war which had desolated the re- 
gion of the lower valley of the Hudson, did not 
reach fort Nassau, now Albany. The tribes resident 
there were at war with the lower river tribes. As 
these Indians still maintained apparently friendly 
relations with the whites, the patroon, Van Rens- 


Belaer, allowed his agents freely to sell to them fire 
arms and powder. 

This distant and feeble post at this time consisted 
only of a wretched little fort built of logs, with 
eight or ten small cannon or swivels. 

A hamlet of about thirty huts was scattered 
along the river. A church, thirty-four feet long 
by nineteen wide, had been erected in a pine 
grove within range of the guns of the fort. Nine 
benches accommodated the congregation. A very 
faithful pastor, Domine Megapolensis, ministered to 

The red men were often attracted to the church 
to hear the preached gospel, and wondered what it 
meant. Megapolensis writes ; 

" When we have a sermon sometimes ten or 
twelve of the Indians will attend, each having in his 
mouth a long tobacco pipe made by himself, and 
will stand awhile and look. Afterwards they will 
ask me what I was doing, and what I wanted, that 
I stood there alone and made so many words and 
none of the rest might speak. 

" I tell them that I admonish the christians that 
they must no' steal or drink, or commit murder, or 
do anything wrong, and that I intend, after a while, 
to come and preach to them when I am acquainted 
with their language. They say that I do wtl! in 


teaching the christians, but immediately add, ' Why 
do so many christians do these things? ' " 

This was several years before John Eliot com- 
menced preaching the gospel to the Indians near 
Boston. Kieft very earnestly applied to the Eng- 
lish colony at New Haven for assistance against the 
Indians. The proposal was submitted to the Gen- 
eral Court. After mature deliberation, it was de- 
cided that the Articles of Confederation between 
the New England colonies prohibited them from 
engaging separately in war ; and that moreover 
" they were not satisfied that the Dutch war with 
the Indians was just." 

The Dutch Director, thus disappointed in ob- 
taining assistance from the English, was roused to 
the energies of desperation. The spirit of the peo- 
ple also rose to meet the emergency. It was de- 
termined to commence the most vigorous offensive 
measures against the savages. 

We have not space to enter into the details of 
this dreadful war. We will record one of its san- 
guinary scenes, as illustrative of many others. The 
Connecticut Indians, in the vicinity of Greenwich, 
had joined the allied tribes, and were becoming 
increasingly active in their hostility. Ensign Van 
Dyck was dispatched with one hundred and fifty 
men in three vessels. The expedition landed at 


Greenwich. The Indian warriors, over five hundred 
in number, were assembled in a strongly palisaded 
village in the vicinity of Stamford. 

It was midnight in February, 1644, when the ex- 
pedition approached the Indian village. All the 
day long the men had toiled through the snow. It 
was a wintry night, clear and cold, with a full moon 
whose rays, reflected by the dazzling surface of hill 
and valley, were so brilliar.t that " many winter days 
were not brighter." 

The Dutch, discharging a volley of bullets upon 
the doomed village, charged, sword in hand. The 
savages, emboldened by their superior numbers, 
made a desperate resistance. But in a conflict like 
this, arrows are comparatively powerless when op- 
posed to muskets. The Indians, unable to reach 
their foes with their arrows, made several very bold 
sallies, recklessly endeavoring to break the Dutch 
lines. They were invariably driven back with great 
loss. Not one of them could show himself outside 
the palisades without being shot down. 

In less than an hour the dark forms of one hun- 
dred and eighty Indian warriors lay spread out upon 
the blood-crimsoned snow. And now the Dutch 
succeeded in applying the torch. The whole village, 
composed of the most combustible materials, was 
instantly in flames. The Indians lost all self-posse* 


sion. They ran to and fro in a state of frenzy. As 
they endeavored to escape they were, with unerring 
aim, shot down, or driven back into their blazing 
huts. Thus over five hundred perished. Of all who 
crowded the little village at nightfall but eight 
escaped. Only eight of the Dutch were wounded ; 
but not one fatally. 

The conflagration of an hour laid the bark village 
in ashes. Nothing remained. The victors built 
large fires and bivouacked upon the snow. The 
next day they returned to Stamford, and two days 
afterward reached fort Amsterdam. 

War is generally ruin to both parties. In this 
case neither of the combatants gained anything. 
Both parties alike reaped but a harvest of blood and 
woe. Scouting parties of the savages prowled 
beneath the very walls of fort Amsterdam, ready at 
a moment's warning, to dart into the wilderness, 
where even the bravest of the Dutch could not ven- 
ture to pursue. For the protection of the few cattle 
which remained, all the men turned out and built a 
stout fence, " from the great bowery or farm across 
to Emanuel plantation," near the site of the present 
Wall street. 

During the whole summer of 1644, the savages 
were busy carrying the desolating war into everj' 
unprotected nook and corner. The condition of 


the colony became desperate, being almost entirely 
destitute of food, money and clothing. The utter 
incompetency of Kieft was daily more conspicuous. 
He did nothing. " Scarce a foot was moved on land, 
or an oar laid in the water." The savages, thus left 
in security to fish and gather in their crops, were 
ever increasingly insolent and defiant. One of the 
annalists of those times writes : 

" Parties of Indians roved about day and night, 
over Manhattan island, killing the Dutch not a 
thousand paces from fort Amsterdam. No one 
dared to move a foot to fetch a stick of firewood 
without a strong escort." 

Kieft, in his overwhelming embarrassments, had 
found it necessary to convene eight select men to 
advise him and to aid in supporting his authority. 
These select men decided to demand of the home 
government the recall of Kieft, whose incapacity 
had thus plunged the once-flourishing colony into 
utter ruin. They also urged the introduction into 
New Netherland of the municipal system of the 

In their brief but touching memorial they write, 
" Our fields lie fallow and waste. Our dwellings are 
burned. Not a handful can be sown this autumn on 
the deserted places. The crops, which God permit- 
ted to come forth during the summer, remain rotting 


in the fields. We have no means to provide neces- 
saries for wives or children. We sit here amidst 
thousands of savages from whom we can find neither 
peace nor mercy. 

" There are those among us who, by the sweat 
and labor of their hands, through many long years 
and at great expense, have endeavored to improve 
their land. Others have come with ships freighted 
with a large quantity of cattle. They have cleared 
away the forest, enclosed their plantations, and 
brought them under the plough, so as to be an or- 
nament to the country and a profit to the proprie- 
tors after their long and laborious toil. The whole 
of these now lie in ashes through a foolish hanker- 
ing after war. 

" All right-thinking men here know that these 
Indians have lived as lambs among us until a few 
years ago, injuring no man, offering every assistance 
to our nation, and when no supplies were sent for 
several months, furnishing provisions to the Com- 
pany's servants until they received supplies. These 
hath the Director, by several uncalled-for proceedings 
from time to time, so estranged from us, and so 
embittered against the Netherlands nation, that wft 
do not believe that anything will bring them and 
peace back, unless the Lord, who bends all hearts to 
his will, propitiate their people. 


"Little or nothing of any account has been done 
here for the country. Every place is going to ruin 
Neither counsel nor advice is taken.'' 

After giving an account of the origin and pro 
gress of the war, they warn the home government 
against relying upon the statements which the 
Director had sent over to them. "These state- 
ments," they said, " contain as many lies as lines." 
The memorial was concluded with the following 
forcible words : 

" Honored Lords ; this is what we have, in the 
sorrow of our hearts, to complain of. We shall 
end here, and commit the matter wholly to our God, 
praying that he will move your lordships' minds, so 
that a Governor may be speedily sent to us with a 
beloved peace, or that we may be permitted to re- 
turn with our wives and children, to our dear father- 
land. For it is impossible ever to settle this country 
until a different system be introduced here, and a 
new Governor sent out." 

In response to this appeal Kieft was recalled. 
Just before he received his summons peace was con- 
cluded with the Indians, on the 31st of August, 1645. 
The war had raged five years. It had filled the land 
with misery. All were alike weary of its carnage 
and woes. A new governor was appointed, Petei 
Stuyvesant. The preceding account of the origir 


of the Dutch colony and its progress thus far is 
essential to the understanding of the long and suc- 
cessful administration of the new governor, whose 
name is one of the most illustrious in the early 
annals of New York. 

It may be worthy of brief remark that a few 
weeks after the arrival of Governor Stuyvesant, 
Kieft embarked in the ship Princess for Holland. 
The vessel was wrecked on the coast of Wales 
Kieft and eighty-one men, women and children sank 
into a watery grave. Kieft died nnlamented. His 
death was generally regarded as an act of retributive 


Governor Stuyvesant, 

New Netherland in 1646. — Early Years of Peter Stuyvesant. — Decay 
of New Amsterdam. — The Germs of a Representative Govern- 
ment. — Energetic Administration. — Death of Governor Win- 
throp. — Claims for Long Island. — Arrogance of the Governor. — 
Remonstrance of the Nine Men. — The Pastoral Office. — Boun- 
dary lines. — Increasing Discontent. — Division of Parties. — Dic- 
tatorial Measures. 

It is estimated that the whole population of New 
Netherland, in the year 1646, amounted to about one 
thousand souls. In 1643, it numbered three thou- 
sand. Such was the ruin which the mal-administra- 
tion of Kieft had brought upon the colony. The 
male adult population around Amsterdam was re- 
duced to one hundred. At the same time the pop- 
ulation of the flourishing New England colonies had 
increased to about sixty thousand. 

On the nth of May, 1647, Governor Stu3rvesant 
arrived at Manhattan. He was appointed as " Re- 
dresser General," of all colonial abuses. We have 
but little knowledge of the early life of Peter Stuy- 
vesant. The West India Company had a colony 


upon the island of Curagoa, in the Caribbean Sea. 
For some time Stuyvesant had been its efficient Di- 
rector. He was the son of a clergyman in Fries- 
land, one of the northern provinces of the Nether- 

He received a good academic education, becom- 
ing quite a proficient in the Latin language, of 
which accomplishment, it is said that he was after- 
wards somewhat vain. At school he was impetuous, 
turbulent and self-willed. Upon leaving the acad- 
emy he entered the military service, and soon de- 
veloped such energy of character, such a spirit of 
self-reliance and such administrative ability that 
he was appointed director of the colony at Curajoa. 
He was recklessly courageous, and was deemed some- 
what unscrupulous in his absolutism. In an attack 
upon the Portuguese island of Saint Martin, in the 
year 1644, which attack was not deemed fully justi- 
fiable, he lost a leg. The wound rendered it neces- 
sary for him to return to Holland in the autumn of 
1644, for surgical aid. 

Upon his health being re-established, the Direc- 
tors of the West India Company, expressing much 
admiration for his Roman courage, appointed him 
Governor of their colony in New Netherland, which 
was then in a state of ruin. There were also under 
his sway the islands of Cura§oa, Buenaire and 


Amba. The Provincial Government presented him 
with a paper of instructions very carefully drawn up. 
The one-man power, which Kieft had exercised, was 
very considerably modified. Two prominent offi- 
cers, the Vice-Director and the Fiscal, were associa- 
ted with him in the administration of all civil and 
military affairs. They were enjoined to take especial 
care that the English should not further encroach 
upon the Company's territory. They were also di- 
rected to do everything in their power to pacify the 
Indians and to restore friendly relations with them. 
No fire-arms or ammunition were, under any cir- 
cumstances, to be sold to the Indians. 

Van Diricklagen was associated with the Gov- 
ernor as Vice-Director, and ensign Van Dyck, of 
whom the reader has before heard, was appointed 
Fiscal, an important office corresponding with our 
post of Treasurer. Quite a large number of emi- 
grants, with abundant supplies, accompanied this 
party. The little fleet of four ships left the Texel 
on Christmas day of 1646. The expedition, run- 
ning in a southerly direction, first visited the West 
India islands. On the voyage the imperious tem- 
per of Stuyvesant very emphatically developed it- 

Holland was then at war with Spain. A prife 
was captured and the question arose respecting its 


disposal. Fiscal Van Dyck claimed, by virtue of his 
office, a seat at the council board and a voice in the 
decision. The governor rudely repulsed him with 
the words, 

" Get out. Who admitted you into the council. 
When I want you I will call you." 

When they arrived at Curajoa, Van Dyck again 
made an attempt to gain that place in the Council 
to which he thought his office legitimately entitled 
him. Stuyvesant punished him by confining him to 
the ship, not allowing him to step on shore. All 
the other officers and soldiers were freely allowed to 
■ recruit themselves by strolling upon the land. 

Upon reaching Manhattan, Stuyvesant was re- 
ceived by the whole community with great rejoic- 
ing. And when he said, " I shall reign over you as 
a father governs his children," they were perhaps 
not fully aware of the dictatorial spirit which was to 
animate his government. With wonderful energy 
he immediately devoted himself to the reform of 
abuses. Though he availed himself of absolute pow- 
er, taking counsel of no one, all his measures seem 
to have been adopted, not for the advancement of 
his own selfish interests, but for the promotion nf 
the public good. 

Proclamations were issued against Sabbath des- 
ecration, intemperance and all quarrelling. No in- 


toxicating liquors were to be sold to the savages 
under a penalty of five hundred guilders. And the 
seller was also to be held responsible for any injury 
which the savage might inflict, while under the influ- 
ence of strong drink. After the ringing of the nine 
o'clock bell in the evening, intoxicating drinks were 
not to be sold to any person whatever. 

To draw a knife in a quarrel was to be punished 
with a heavy fine and six months imprisonment. If 
a wound was inflicted the penalty was trebled. 
Great faults accompanied this development of 
energy. The new governor assumed " state and 
pomp like a peacock's." He kept all at a distance 
from him, exacted profound homage, and led many 
to think that he would prove a very austere father. 
All his acts were characterized by great vigor. 

New Amsterdam, at that time, presented a very 
dilapidated and deplorable appearance. The fort 
was crumbling to ruins. The skeleton of an unfin- 
ished church deformed the view. The straggling 
fences were broken down. The streets were narrow 
and crooked, many of the houses encroaching upon 
them. The foul enclosures for swine bordered the 

A system of taxation upon both exports and 
imports was introduced, which speedily replenished 
the treasury. Governor Stuyvesant was a professing 


christian, being a devout member of the Reformed 
Church of the fatherland. He promptly transferred 
his relations to the church at fort Amsterdam. He 
became an elder in the church, and conscious that 
the christian religion was the basis of all prosperity, 
one of his first acts, was the adoption of measures 
for the completion of the church edifice. Proprietors 
of vacant lots were ordered to fence them in and 
improve them. Surveyors of buildings were appoint- 
ed to regulate the location and structure of new 

The embarrassments which surrounded the .gov- 
ernor were so great that he found it necessary to 
support his authority by calling public opinion to 
his aid. " Necessity," writes Brodhead, " produced 
concession and prerogative yielded to popular rights 
The Council recommended that the principle of 
representation should be conceded to the people. 
Stuyvesant consented." 

An election was ordered and eighteen " of the 
most notable, reasonable, honest and respectable 
persons" in the colony were chosen, from whom the 
governor was to select nine persons as a sort of 
privy council. It is said that Stuyvesant was very 
reluctant to yield at all to the people, and that he 
very jealously guarded the concessions to which he 
was constrained to assent. By this measure populai 


rights gained largely. The Nine Men had howeveJ 
only the power to give advice when it was asked. 
When assembled, the governor could attend the 
meeting and act as president. 

Governor Stuyvesant, soon after his arrival at 
fort Amsterdam, addressed courteous letters to the 
governors of all the neighboring colonies. In his 
letter to Governor Winthrop, of Massachusetts, he 
asserted the indubitable right of the Dutch to all 
the territory between the Connecticut and the Dela- 
ware, and proposed an interview for the settlement 
of all difficulties. 

An Amsterdam ship, the Saint Benino, entered 
the harbor of New Haven, and for a month engaged 
in trade without a license from the West India Com- 
pany. Stuyvesant, ascertaining the fact, sent a 
company of soldiers on a secret expedition to New 
Haven, seized the vessel on the Lord's day, brought 
her to Manhattan, and confiscated both ship and 

Emboldened by success, Stuyvesant sent a lettt* 
to the authorities at New Haven claiming all the 
region from Cape Henlopen to Cape Cod as part of 
the territory of New Netherland, and affirming his 
right to levy duties upon all Dutch vessels trading 
within those limit:-. 

Governor Eaton, of the New Haven colony, sent 


back a rempnstrance protesting gainst the Dutch 
governor as a disturber of the public peace- by 
"making unjust claims to our lands and plantations, 
to our havens and rivers, and by taking a ship out 
of our harbor without our license." 

Three deserters from Manhattan fled to New 
Haven. Governor Eaton, though bound by trecity 
obligations to deliver them up, yet indignant in view 
of what he deemed the arrogant claim of Governor 
Stuyvesant, refused to surrender them, lest the 
surrender should be deemed as " done in the way of 
subordination." The impetuous Stuyvesant at once 
issued a retaliatory proclamation in which he said : 

" If any person, noble or ignoble, freeman or 
slave, debtor or creditor, yea, to the lowest prisoner 
included, run away from the colony at New Haven, 
or seek refuge in our limits, he shall remain free, 
under our protection, on taking the oath of allegi- 

This decree excited strong disapprobation at 
home as well as in the other colonies. The inhabi- 
tants of Manhattan objected to it as tending to con- 
vert the province into a refuge for vagabonds from 
the neighboring English settlements. After a few 
months the obnoxious proclamation was revoked. 
But in the meantime Governor Stuyvesant had 
brib-d the runaways, who had been taken into the 


public service at New Haven, to escape and return 

As a precaution against fire, it was ordered that 
if a house were burned through the owner's negli- 
gence, he should be heavily fined. Fire-wardens 
were appointed to inspect the buildings. If any 
chimney was found foul, the owner was fined and 
the sum was appointed to purchasing fire-ladders, 
hooks and buckets. As nearly one-fourth of the 
houses were licensed for the sale of brandy, tobacco 
or beer, it was resolved that no farther licenses 
should be granted. It was ordered that cattle and 
swine should be pastured within proper enclosures. 
And it was also ordained that, " from this time forth, 
in the afternoon as well as in the forenoon, there 
shall be preaching from God's word." Many of the 
Indians were employed as servants or day laborers. 
They were often defrauded of their wages. A 
decree was issued, punishing with a fine those who 
neglected to pay these debts. 

In January, 1649, Charles I., of England, was 
beheaded in front of his own banqueting hall, and 
England became nominally a republic. The event 
created the most profound sensation throughout all 
Christendom. The shock, which agitated all Europe, 
was felt in America. The prince of Wales and the 
duke of York, escaping from England, took refuge 


in Holland with their brother-in-law, the stadtholder, 
William, prince of Orange, A rupture between 
England and Holland appeared imminent. The 
Puritans in America were well pleased with the 
establishment of a republic in their native land. A 
war between the two European nations would prob- 
ably bring all the Dutch colonies under the control 
of England. The West India Company, in view of 
these perils, urged Stuyvesant " to live with his 
neighbors on the best terms possible.'' 

On the 24th of March, of this year, the venera- 
ble Governor Winthrop, of Massachusetts, died, at 
the age of sixty-one. Governor Eaton, of New 
Haven, proposed to Stuyvesant a meeting of the 
Governors, at Boston, to discuss the affairs of the 
colonies. The meeting was held in August. It 
was not harmonious. The Dutch were forbidden 
from trading anywhere with the Indians within the 
territory of the English colonies, and Stuyvesant 
was very emphatically informed that the English 
claimed all the territory between Cape Cod and New 

Lady Stirling, widow of Lord Stirling, deter- 
mined to maintain her title to the whole of Long 
Island. She sent an agent, who announced himself 
to the English settlers at Hempstead, on the north- 
ern portion of the island, as governor of the whole 


island under the Dowager Countess of Stirling. 
Intelligence of this was speedily sent to Stuyvesant. 
The Dutch Governor caused his immediate arrest, 
ordered him, notwithstanding his " very consequen- 
tial airs," to be examined before the council, took 
copies of his papers, and placed him on board ship 
for Holland. The ship put in at an English port, 
the agent escaped and was heard of no more. 

The council, much displeased with the absolutism 
assumed by Stuyvesant, resolved to send one of 
their number, a remarkably energetic man, Adrien 
Van Der Donck, to Holland to seek redress from 
the home government. The movement was some- 
what secret, and they endeavored to conceal from 
the governor the papers which were drawn up, con- 
taining the charges against him. The spirit of Stuy- 
vesant was roused. 

He went in person, with some officers, to the 
chamber of Van Der Donck, when he was absent, 
seized his papers, and then caused him to be arrest- 
ed and imprisoned. 

The Vice Director, Van Diricklagen, accompa- 
nied by a delegation from the people, protested 
against these proceedings, and demanded that Van 
Der Donck should be released from captivity and 
held on bail. Stuyvesant refused, saying that the 
prisoner was arrested, " for calumniating the off? 


cers of government ; that his conduct tended to 
bring the sovereign authority into contempt." 
Van Der Donck was punished by banishment from 
the council and from the board of Nine Men. 

Just before this, two prominent men, Kuyter 
and Melyn, demanded an appeal to the people in 
reference to some act of Kieft's reckless administra- 
tion. Stuyvesant took the alarm. If the people 
could judge of Kieft's administration, his own might 
be exposed to the same ordeal. Convening a spe- 
cial council, he said, 

" These petitioners are disturbers of the public 
peace. If we grant their request, will not the cun- 
ning fellows, in order to usurp over us a more un- 
limited power, claim even greater authority against 
ourselves, should it happen that our administration 
may not square in every respect with their whims. 
It is treason to petition against one's magistrate 
whether there be cause or not." 

The unfortunate petitioners were now arraigned 
on various charges. The Governor and his subser- 
vient Council acted both as prosecutors and judges. 
The prisoners were accused of instigating the war 
with the savages, of counselling the mortgaging of 
Manhattan to the English, and of threatening Kieft 
with personal violence. The case was speedily de^ 
cided and sentence -yas pronounced. Stuyvesant 


wished Melyn to be punished with death and confis- 
cation of property. But the majority of the Council 
held back the Governor's avenging hand. Still he 
succeeded in sentencing Meiyn to seven years' ban- 
ishment, to a fine of three hundred guilders, and to 
forfeit all benefits derived from the Company. Kuy- 
ter was sentenced to three years' banishment and to 
a fine of one hundred and fifty guilders. They were 
also denied the right of appeal to the fatherland. 

" If I were persuaded," said the Governor, " that 
you would divulge our sentence, or bring it before 
their High Mightinesses, I would have you hanged 
at once, on the highest tree in New Netherland." 

Again he said, with characteristic energy, " If any 
one, during my administration, shall appeal, I will 
make him a foot shorter, and send the pieces to 
Holland and let him appeal in that way."* 

Melyn and Kuyter being sent to Holland as crim- 
inals, did appeal to the home government ; their 
harsh sentence was suspended ; they were restored 
to all the rights of colonists of New Netherland, and 
Stuyvesant was cited to defend his sentence at the 
Hague. When Melyn returned to Manhattan with 
these authoritative papers, a great tumult was excit- 
ed. Anxious that his triumph should be as public 

* History of the State ol New York, By John Romeyn Brod< 
bead Vol I. p. 473. 


as his disgrace had been, he demanded that the 
Acts should be read to the people assembled in the 
church. With much difficulty he carried his point. 
" I honor the States and shall obey their com- 
mands," said Stuyvesant, " I shall send an attorney 
to sustain the sentence.'' 

The Indians loudly, and with one accord, de> 
manded the right to purchase fire-arms. For years 
they had been constantly making such purchases, 
either through the colonists at Rensselaerswyck, or 
from private traders. It was feared that the persist- 
ent refusal to continue the supply, might again in- 
stigate them to hostilities. The Directors of the 
West India government therefore intimated that 
" it was the best policy to furnish them with pow- 
der and ball, but with a sparing hand." 

Stuyvesant ordered a case of guns to be brought 
over from Holland. They were landed openly at 
fort Amsterdam and placed under the care of an 
agent of the governor. Thus Stuyvesant himself 
was to monopolize the trade, which was extremely 
lucrative ; for the Indians would pay almost any 
price for guns, powder and shot. This increased the 
growing dissatisfaction. The Indians would readily 
exchange skins to the amount of forty dollars for a 
gun, and of four dollars for a pound of powder 

" The governor," it was said, " assumes to b« 


everything. He establishes shops for himself and 
does the business of the whole country. He is a 
brewer and has breweries. He is a ship-owner, a 
merchant, and a trader in both lawful and contra- 
band articles." 

The Nine Men persisted in their resolve to send 
a remonstrance to the fatherland. The memorial 
was signed and forwarded the latter part of July. 
In this important document, which first gave a brief 
account of the past history of the colony, the admin- 
istration of Stuyvesant was reviewed with much 

" In our opinion," said the remonstrants, " this 
country will never flourish under the present gov- 
ernment. The country must be provided with godly, 
honorable and intelligent rulers, who are not very 
indigent, and who are not too covetous. The mode 
in which this country is now governed is intolerable. 
Nobody is secure in his property longer than the 
Director pleases, who is generally strongly inclined 
to confiscating. A good population would be the 
consequence of a good government. Many would 
be allured here by the pleasantness, situation, salu- 
brity and fruitfulness of the country, if protection 
were secured." 

Three of the signers were deputed to convey 
the remonstrance to the Hague and lay it before tlit 


authorities there. The pastor of the church at Man- 
hattan, Domine Backerus, returned to Holland with 
the commissioners. He was greatly dissatisfied with 
the regime of the governor, and upon his arrival in 
Holland, joined the complainants. 

Domine Megapolensis, who had been pastor 
of the church at Rensselaerswyck, having obtained 
letters of dismission from his church, was also about 
to sail to the fatherland. The colonists, generally 
religiously disposed, were greatly troubled, being 
threatened with a total loss of the gospel ministry. 
By the earnest solicitation of Stuyvesant, he con- 
sented to remain at Manhattan, where he was 
formally installed as pastor of the church, upon a 
salary of twelve hundred guilders, which was about 
four hundred dollars. At the same time the ener- 
getic governor manifested his interest in education 
by writing earnestly to Amsterdam, urging that a 
pious, well-qualified and diligent schoolmaster might 
be sent out. " Nothing," he added, " is of greater 
importance than the right, early instruction of 

The governor was sorely annoyed by the action 
of the States-General, reversing his sentence against 
Melyn and Kuyter. He wrote that he should obey 
their decision, but that he would rather never have 
received their commission as governor, than to have 


had his authority lowered in the eyes of his neigh- 
bors and friends. 

The three commissioners, bearing the memorial 
of the Nine Men, reached Holland in safety. The 
States-General received their memorial, and also 
listened to the reply of the agent, whom Stuyvesant 
had sent out to plead his cause. The decision of 
the States was virtually a rebuke of the dictatorial 
government of Stuyvesant, and several very impor- 
tant reforms were ordered. This decision displeased 
the West India Company. Those men deemed 
their rights infringed upon by this action of the 
States-General. They were therefore led to espouse 
the cause of the governor. Thus strengthened, 
Stuyvesant ventured to disregard the authority oi 
the States-General. 

The Dutch at Manhattan began to be clamorous 
for more of popular freedom. Stuyvesant, hoping 
to enlist the sympathies of the governors of the 
English colonies in his behalf, made vigorous ar- 
rangements for the long projected meeting with the 
Commissioners of the United Colonies. 

On the 17th of September, 1650, Governor Stuy- 
vesant embarked at Manhattan, with his secretary, 
George Baxter, and quite an imposing suite. 
Touching at several places along the sound, he ar- 
rived at Hartford in four days. After much discus- 


sion it was agreed to refer all differences, of th« 
points in controversy, to four delegates, two to be 
chosen from each side. It is worthy of special re- 
mark that Stuyvesant's secretary was an English- 
man, and he chose two Englishmen for his dele- 

In the award delivered by the arbitrators, it was 
decided that upon Long Island a line running from 
the westernmost part of Oyster Bay, in a straight 
direction to the sea, should be the bound between 
the English and the Dutch territory ; the easterly 
part to belong to the English, the westernmost part 
to the Dutch. Upon the mainland, the boundary 
line was to commence on the west side of Greenwich 
bay, about four miles from Stamford, and to run in 
a northerly direction twenty miles into the country, 
provided that the said line came not within ten 
miles of the Hudson river. The Dutch were not to 
build any house within six miles of said line. The 
inhabitants of Greenwich were to remain, till further 
consideration, under the Government of the Dutch. 
It was also decided that a nearer union of friendship 
and amity, between England and the Dutch colonies 
in America, should be recommended to the several 
jurisdictions of the United Colonies. 

Stuyvesant reported the result of these negotia- 
tions to the Chamber at Amsterdam but, for some 


unexplained reason, did not send to that body a 
copy of the treaty. Upon his return to Manhattan 
he was immediately met with a storm of discontent. 
His choice of two Englishmen as the referees, to 
represent the Dutch cause, gave great offence. It 
was deemed an insult to his own countrymen. 
There was a general disposition with the colonists 
to repudiate a treaty which the Dutch had had no 
hand in forming. Complaints were sent to Holland 
that the Governor had surrendered more territory 
than might have formed fifty colonies ; and that, re- 
jecting those reforms in favor of popular rights 
which the home government had ordered, he was 
controlling all things with despotic power. 

" This grievous and unsuitable government,'' the 
Nine Men wrote, " ought at once to be reformed. 
The measures ordered by the home government 
should be enforced so that we may live as happily 
as our neighbors. Our term of office is about to 
expire. The governor has declared that he will 
not appoint any other select men. We shall not 
dare again to assemble in a body ; for we dread un- 
justifiable prosecutions, and we can already discern 
the smart thereof from afar." * 

Notwithstanding these reiterated rebukes, Stuy- 

• John Romeyn Brodhead, Vol. I. p. 521. E. B. O'Callaghan. M D 
Vol 2. p. 157. 


vesant persisted in his arbitrary course. The vice- 
director, Van Diricklagen, and the fiscal or treasurer 
Van Dyck, united in a new protest expressing the 
popular griefs. Van Der Donck was the faithful 
representative of the commonalty in their father- 
land. The vice-director, in forwarding the new pro- 
test to him wrote, 

" Our great Muscovy duke keeps on as of old ; 
something like the wolf, the longer he lives the 
worse he bites." 

It is a little remarkable that the English refu- 
gees, who were quite numerous in the colony, were 
iii sympathy with the arbitrary assumptions of the 
governor. They greatly strengthened his' hands by 
sending a Memorial to the West India Company, 
condemning the elective franchise which the Dutch 
colonists desired. 

" We willingly acknowledge," they wrote, " that 
the power to elect a governor from among ourselves, 
which is, we know, the design of some here, would 
be our ruin, by reason of our factions and the differ- 
ence of opinion which prevails among us." 

The West India Company, not wil ling to relin- 
quish the powers which it grasped, was also in very 
decided opposition to the spirit of popular freedom 
which the Dutch colonists were urging, and which 
was adopted by the States-General. Thus, in this 


great controversy, the governor, the West India 
Company and the English settlers in the colony were 
on one side. Upon the other side stood the States- 
General and the Dutch colonists almost without 

The vice-director was punished for his protest, 
by expulsion from the council and by imprisonment 
in the guard-room for four days. Upon his libera- 
tion he took refuge with the Patroon on Staten 
Island. The notary, who had authenticated the 
protest, was dismissed from office and forbidden any 
farther to practice his profession. In every possible 
way, Stuyvesant manifested his displeasure against 
his own countrymen of the popular party, while the 
English were treated with the utmost consideration. 

In the treaty of Hartford no reference was made 
to the interests of the Dutch on the south, or Dela- 
ware river. The New Haven people equipped a 
vessel and dispatched fifty emigrants to establish a 
colony upon some lands there, which they claimed 
to have purchased of the Indians. The governor 
regarded this as a breach of the treaty, for the Eng- 
lish territory terminated and the Dutch began at 
the bay of Greenwich. The expedition put in at 
Manhattan. The energetic governor instantly ar 
rested the leaders and held them in close confine- 
ment till they signed a promise not to proceed to 


the Delaware. The emigrants, thus discomfited, 
returned to New Haven. 

At the same time Governor Stuyvesant sent a 
very emphatic letter to Governor Eaton of New 
Haven, in, which he wrote : 

" I shall employ force of arms and martial oppo- 
sition, even to bloodshed, against all English in- 
truders within southern New Netherland." 

In this movement oi the English to get a foot- 
hold upon the Delawa'/r liver, Stuyvesant thought 
he saw a covert purpose on their part, to dispossess 
the Dutch of all their pcrsessions in America. 
Thinking it not improbable tl'i\t it might be neces- 
sary to appeal to aims, he demanded of the authori- 
ties of Rensselaenwyck a subsit')'. The patroons, 
who had been at great expense in colonizing the 
territory, deemed the demand unj ist, and sent a 
commissioner to remonstrate against U Stuyvesant 
arrested the commissioner and held h^m in close 
confinement for four months. • 

The Swedes were also making vigorow; efforts to 
get possession of the beautiful lands on tbe Dela- 
ware. Stuyvesant, with a large suite of f.fficers, 
visited that region. In very decided teir\s he 
communicated to Printz the Swedish governor .'here, 
that the Dutch claimed the territory upon the tVee* 
fold title of discovery, settlement and purchase f om 


the natives. He then summoned all the Indian 
chiefs on the banks of the river, in a grand council 
at fort Nassau. After a " solemn conference" these 
chiefs ceded to the West India Company all the 
lands on both sides of the river to a point called by 
them Neuwsings, near the mouth of the bay. 

The Swedes were left in possession only of a 
small territory surrounding their fort, called Chris- 
tina. As Stuyvesant thought fort Nassau too far 
up the river and inconvenient of access, he de- 
molished it. In its seclusion in the wilderness it 
had stood for twenty-eight years. A new fort called 
Casimir was erected, on the west side of the river 
near the present site of New Castle, four miles 
below the Swedish fort Christina. Having thus 
triumphantly accomplished his object, Stuyvesant 
returned to Manhattan. 

War Between England and Holland. 

Action of the Patroons. — Settlements on the Hudson. — Alann of tt* 
Home Government. — Recall of Stuyvesant. — His Escape from 
Humiliation. — Difficullies bet'-<;en England and Holland. — Tlie 
Breaking out of War. — Direr'i'?ns to Stuyvesant. — The Rela- 
tions of the Colonies. — Charg"' against the Dutch Governor. — 
Their Refutation. — Efforts cS Stuyvesant for Peace. — Noble 
Conduct of the Massachusetts '".^vemment. — The Advocates for 

Governor Stuyvesant living removed the ob- 
noxious vice-director, had another, Johannes Dyck- 
man, who he thought would bt more subservient to 
his wishes, appointed in his stcxd. The commissa- 
ry of the patroons, whom ht had imprisoned at 
Manhattan, secreted himself on bcc\rd a sloop and es- 
caped up the river to Beaverwyck. The enraged 
governor seized the skipper of the s'oop on his re- 
turn, and inflicted upon him a heavy Ene. 

The patroons were now fearful that tht governor 
would fulfill his threat of extending his authority 
over the extensive territory whose jurisdi'ttiyn the 
Charter of Privileges had entrusted exclusixfly to 
the patroons. They therefore, on an appointed d;iy 


assembled the freemen and householders who bound 
themselves, by an oath, " to maintain and support 
offensively and defensively the right and jurisdic- 
tion of the colony against every one." 

Among the persons who took this oath we find 
the name of John Baptist Van Rensselaer. He was 
the younger half-brother of the patroon, and proba- 
bly the first of the name who came to New Nether- 
land. It was now reported that Governor Stuyve- 
sant himself was about to visit fort Orange, and that 
a new gallows was being prepared for those who 
should attempt to thwart his wishes. The govern- 
or soon arrived and, with his customary explicitness, 
informed the authorities there, that the territory by 
the Exemptions, allowed to the patroon, was to ex- 
tend sixteen miles on one side of the river, or eight 
miles if both banks were occupied. He called upon 
them to define their boundaries, saying that he 
should recognize the patroons' jurisdiction only to 
that extent. These limits would include but a 
small portion of the territory which the patroons 
claimed by right of purchase from the Indians. 

The authorities were not prepared to act upon 
this question without instructions from Holland. 
Stuyvesant would admit of no delay. He sent a 
party of fourteen soldiers, armed with muskets, to 
the patroon's house, who entered the enclosuie, 


fired a volley, and hauled down the flag of the pa- 
troon. He then issued a decree that Beaverswyck, 
which included the region now occupied by the city 
of Albany, was independent of the patroon's govern- 
ment, and was brought under the jurisdiction of the 
colony of fort Amsterdam. 

Van Slechtenhorst, the patroon's bold and effi- 
cient Commissary at Rensselaerswick, ordered the 
governor's placards, announcing this change, to be 
torn down, and a counter proclamation, affirming 
the claims of the patroon to be posted in its stead. 
The governor arrested him, imprisoned him for a 
time in fort Orange, and then removed him to New 
Amsterdam, where he was held in close custody, 
until his successor, John Baptist Van Rensselaer, was 
formally appointed in his place. 

At this time, 1652, there were no settlements, 
and but a few scattered farmhouses between the isl- 
and of Manhattan and the Catskill mountains. 
Thomas Chambers had a farm at what is now Troy. 
With a few neighbors he moved down the river to 
" some exceedingly beautiful lands," and began the 
settlement of the present county of Ulster. 

Stuyvesant returning to Manhattan, forbade any 
persons from buying lands of the Indians without 
his permission. The large sales which had been 
made to prominent individuals were declared to be 


void, and the " pretended proprietors,'' were ordered 
to return the purchase money. Should they how- 
ever petition the governor, they might retain such 
tracts as he and his council should permit. 

By grant of the governor several new settlements 
were commenced on Long Island, one at Newton, 
one at Flatbush. The news had now reached 
the Directors of the Company in Holland, of the 
governor's very energetic measures on the Delaware, 
supplanting the Swiss, demolishing fort Nassau and 
erecting fort Casimir. They became alarmed lest 
such violent measures might embroil them with the 
Swedish government. In a letter addressed to 
Stuyvesant, they wrote : 

"Your journey to the South river, and what has 
passed there between you and the Swedes, was very 
unexpected to us, as you did not give us before so 
much as a hint of your intention. We cannot give 
our opinion upon it until we have heard the com- 
plaints of the Swedish governor to his queen, and 
have ascertained how these have been received at 
her court. We hope that our arguments, to prove 
that we were the first possessors of that country, 
will be acknowledged as sufficient. Time will in- 
struct us of the design of the new-built fort Casimir 
We are at a loss to conjecture for what reason it has 
received this name. You ought to be on your guard 


that it be well secured, so that it cannot be sur- 

The States -General were more and more dissatis. 
ficd with the measures of Governor Stuyvesant. 
The treaty of Hartford was severely censured. 
They said that the Connecticut river should have 
been the eastern boundary of New Netherland, and 
that the whole of Long Island should have been 
retained. Even the West India Company became 
convinced that it was necessary to make some con- 
cessions to the commonalty at Manhattan. They 
therefore communicated to Stuyvesant their consent 
that the " burgher government" should be estab- 
lished, which the committee of Nine had petitioned 
for in behalf of the commonalty, in 1649, and which 
the States-General had authorized in 1650. 

By this arrangement the people were to elect 
seven representatives, who were to form a municipal 
court of justice, subject to the right of appeal to 
the Supreme Court of the province. The sheriff was 
also invested with new powers. He was to convoke 
and preside at the municipal court, to prosecute all 
offenders against the laws, and to take care that 
all the judgments of the court should be executed. 
The people at Manhattan had thus won, to a very 
considerable degree, the popular government which 
they had so long desired. 


Quite to the amazement of the Directors of the 
West India Company, the States-General recalled 
Stuyvesant, ordering him to return immediately to 
Holland to give an account of his administration. 
He had been in the main the faithful agent of the 
Company, carrying out its wishes in opposition to 
popular reform. They therefore wrote to him, 
stating that the requirement was in violation of their 
charter, and requesting him " not to be in too much 
haste to commence his voyage, but to delay it until 
the receipt of further orders." 

It so happened, however, that then the States- 
General were just on the eve of hostilities with 
England. It was a matter of the first importance 
that New Netherland should be under the rule of a 
governor of military experience, courage and energy. 
No man could excel Stuyvesant in these qualities. 
Yielding to the force of circumstances, the States- 
General revoked their recall. Thus narrowly Stuy- 
vesant escaped the threatened humiliation. 

The English government was angry with Holland 
for refusing to expel the royalist refugees, who, after 
the execution of Charles I., had taken refuge in 
Holland. The commerce of the Dutch Republic 
then covered every sea. England, to punish the 
Dutch and to revive her own decaying commerce, 
issued, by Parliamentary vote, her famous " Act of 


Navigation," which was exultantly proclaimed at the 
old London Exchange " with sound of trumpet and 
beat of drum." 

This Act decreed that no production of Asia, 
Africa or America should be brought to England, 
except in English vessels, manned by English crews, 
and that no productions of Europe should be 
brought to England, unless in English vessels, or in 
those of the country in which the imported cargoes 
were produced. These measures were considered 
very unjust by all the other nations, and especially 
by the Dutch, then the most commercial nation on 
the globe. 

The States-General sent £\nbassadors to London 
to remonstrate against such hostile action ; and at 
the same time orders were issued for the equipment 
of one hundred and fifty ships of war. The States- 
General had not yet ratified Stuyvesant's treaty of 
Hartford. The ambassadors were instructed to 
urge that an immovable boundary line should be es- 
tablished between the Dutch and English posses- 
sions in America. 

The reply of the English Government was not 
conciliatory. The English, it was said, had always 
been forbidden to trade in the Dutch colonies. 
The Dutch ought therefore to find no fault with the 
recent Navigation Act, from which measure the 

War between England and Holland. 151 

Council did not " deem it fitting to recede." As to 
the colonial boundary, the ungracious reply was re- 

" The English were the first settlers in North 
America, from Virginia to Newfoundland. We 
know nothing of any Dutch plantations there, ex- 
cepting a few settlers up the Hudson. We do not 
think it necessary at present, to settle the bounda- 
ries. It can be done hereafter, at any convenient 

A naval war soon broke out. England, without 
warning, seized the ships of Holland in English 
ports, and impressed their crews. The Dutch war 
fleet was entrusted to Admiral Tromp. He was 
enjoined to protect the Dutch vessels from visita- 
tion or search by foreign cruisers, and not to strike 
his flag to English ships of war. The instructions 
of the commanders of the British men of war, were to 
compel the ships of all foreign nations whatever, to 
strike their colors to the British flag. England thus 
set up its arrogant claim to " its undoubted right to 
the dominion of the surrounding seas." 

The English fleet, under Admiral Blake, met 
the Dutch fleet in the Strait of Dover, on the 29th 
of May, 1632, and a bloody but undecisive battle en- 
sued. A series of terrible naval conflicts followed, 
with victory now on the one side and now on the 


other. At length Blake, discomfited, was cotnpel 
led to take refuge in the Thames. Admiral Tromp, 
rather vain- gloriously, placed a broom at his mast- 
head to indicate that he had swept the channel of 
all English ships. 

In this state of affairs the Directors wrote to 
Governor Stuyvesant, saying, " Though we hope 
that you have so agreed with the colonists of New 
England about boundaries that we have nothing 
to fear from them, still we consider it an imperious 
duty to recommend you to arm and discipline all 
freemen, soldiers and sailors ; to appoint officers and 
places of rendezvous ; to supply them with ammuni- 
tion ; and to inspect the fortifications at New Am- 
sterdam, fort Orange and fort Casimir. To this end 
we send you a fresh supply of ammunition. 

" If it should happen, which we will not suppose, 
that New Englanders incline to take part in these 
broils, then we should advise your honor to engage 
the Indians in your cause, who, we are informed, 
are not partial to the English. You will also em- 
ploy all such means of defence as prudence may re- 
quire for your security, taking care that the mer- 
chants and inhabitants convey their property within 
the forts. 

" Treat them kindly, so that they may be encour- 
aged to ren>ain there, and to give up the thought of 


returning to Holland, which would depopulate the 
country. It is therefore advisable to inclose the vil- 
lages, at least the principal and most opulent, with 
breastworks and palisades to prevent surprise." 

Looking into the future with prophetic eyes, 
which discerned the future glories of the rising 
republic, the Directors added, " When these colonies 
once become permanently established, when the 
ships of New Netherland ride on every part of the 
ocean, then numbers, now looking to that coast 
with eager eyes, shall be allured to embark for your 

This prophecy is now emphatically fulfilled when 
often one or two thousand emigrants, from the old 
world, land at the Battery in a day. When the 
prophecy was uttered. New Amsterdam was a small 
straggling village of one story huts, containing about 
seven hundred inhabitants. The whole island of 
Manhattan belonged in fee to the West India Com- 
pany. A municipal government was soon organized, 
which about the year 1653, gave birth to the city of 
New Amsterdam. 

Holland and England were now in open and 
deadly warfare. It will hardly be denied by any 
one, that England was responsible for the conflict. 
The New England colonies wished to avail them- 
selves of the opportunity to ivrest New Netherland 


from the Dutch, and to extend their sway from 
Stamford to the Chesapeake. Governor Stuyvesant 
perceived his danger. He could be easily over- 
powered by the New England colonies. He wrote 
very friendly letters to the governors, urging that, 
notwithstanding the hostilities between the mothei- 
countries, commercial intercourse between the colo- 
nies should continue on its former peaceful footing. 
At the same time he adopted very vigorous meas- 
ures to be prepared for defence should he be 

Rumors reached New Amsterdam of active mili- 
tary preparations in progress in New England. It 
was manifest that some hostile expedition was con-i 
templated. Fort Amsterdam was repaired. The 
city was enclosed by a ditch and palisade, with a 
breastwork extending from the East river to the 
North river. The whole body of citizens mounted 
guard every night. A frigate in the harbor was 
ready at any moment to spread its sails, and its 
'■ guns were kept loaded day and night.'' The citi- 
zens without exception, were ordered to work upon 
the defences, under penalty of fine, loss of citizen- 
ship and banishment. 

Thus barbaric war came again to mar all the 
prosperity of the colony, and to undermine all its 
foundations of growth and happiness. The Mohican 


Indians, on the east side of the North river, and 
whose territory extended to the Connecticut, were 
allies of the English. Uncas, the chief of this 
tribe, declared that Governor Stuyvesant was plot- 
ting to arm the Narragansetts against New Eng- 
land. At the same time nine chiefs from the vicini- 
ty of Manhattan, sent a messenger to Stamford, 
who said : 

" The Dutch governor has earnestly solicited the 
Indians in these parts, to kill all the English. But 
we have all refused to be hired by him, for the Eng- 
lish have done us no harm." 

The New England colonists were by no means 
satisfied that these charges were true. Veracity 
was not an Indian virtue. Cunning was a prominent 
trait in their character. An extraordinary meeting 
of commissioners was held in Boston, in April, 1655. 
Two messengers had been previously sent by the 
Massachusetts council, to interrogate three of the 
principal Narragansett chiefs, respecting the conduct 
of Governor Stuyvesant. They reported at the 
meeting, that the Narragansett chiefs utterly denied 
that Governor Stuyvesant had ever approached 
them with any such proposition. One of them, 
Ninigret, said : 

" It was winter when I visited the Dutch gov- 
ernor. I stood the great part of a winter's day, 


knocking at his door. He would neither open it 
nor suffei others to open it, to let me in. I found 
no proposal to stir me up against the English, my 
friends. ' 

Mixam, another of these chiefs, replied, "I do 
not know of any plot that is intended by the Dutch 
governor against the English, my friends." 

The third of the chiefs, who was conferred with, 
Pessacus, was still more emphatic in his denial. 
" Though I am far away," he said, " from the 
governor of the Dutch, I am not willing for the sake 
of pleasing the English, to invent any falsehood 
against him." 

The result of these investigations led some to 
suppose that individuals among the English had 
originated these rumors, and had bribed some of the 
Indian chiefs to false charges that they might insti- 
gate the governors to send out an expedition for 
the capture of New Netherland. 

Still the Council was unsatisfied, and retained its 
suspicions. Governor Stuyvesant. hearing of the 
charges against him, wrote at once to the governors 
of Massachusetts and New Haven, unequivocally de- 
nying the plot, and offering to come himself to Bos- 
ton " to consider and examine what may be charged, 
and his answers." Should the Council prefer, he 
would send a delegate to Boston, or they might send 


delegates to Manhattan to investigate the whole af- 

The Council decided to send three commission- 
ers, men of note, to Manhattan. At the same time 
an army of five hundred men was ordered to be ot^ 
ganized " for the first expedition," should " God call 
the colonies to make war against the Dutch." 

The New England agents were hospitably re- 
ceived at New Amsterdam. They urged that the 
meeting should be held in one of the New England 
colonies, where Stuyvesant " should produce evi- 
dence to clear himself from the charges against 
him." He was to be regarded as guilty until he 
proved himself innocent. 

The Puritan agents appear to great disadvantage 
in the conference which ensued. " They seem to 
have visited the Dutch," writes Mr. Brodhead, "as 
inquisitors, to collect evidence criminating the 
Dutch and to collect no other evidence. And, with 
peculiar assurance, they saw no impropriety in re- 
quiring the authorities of New Netherland, in their 
own capital, to suspend their established rules of 
law in favor of those of New England." 

Governor Stuyvesant repressed every expression 
of impatience, and urged the most friendly over- 
tures. It may be said that it was manifestly for his 
interest to do so, for the Dutch colonies were quite 


powerless compared with the united colonies of New 
England. The New England agents ungraciously 
repelled his advances, and at length abruptly ter- 
minated the conference without giving the governor 
an opportunity to prove his innocence. At nine 
o'clock in the evening they suddenly took leave of 
New Amsterdam, declining the most friendly invita- 
tions to remain, and " cloaking their sudden depart- 
ure under pretence of the day of election to be held 
this week at Boston." They left behind them the 
following menace : 

" The Commissioners conclude their negotiation 
by declaring that if you shall offer any injury to 
any of the English in these parts, whether by your- 
selves or by the Indians, either upon the national 
quarrel, or by reason of any differences depending 
between the United English Colonies and your- 
selves, that, as the Commissioners will do no wrong, 
so they may not suffer their countrymen to be op- 
pressed upon any such account." 

The morning after this unfriendly retirement of 
the agents. Governor Stuyvesant dispatched a mes- 
senger to Boston, with a letter containing a very full 
reply to the grievances of which the New England 
colonists complained. In this letter, which bears 
the impress of frankness and honesty, he says, 

" What your worships lay unto our charge are 


false reports and feigned informations. Your hon- 
ored messengers might, if they had pleased, have 
informed themselves of the truth of this, and might 
also have obtained more friendly satisfaction and 
security, concerning our real intentions, if they had 
pleased to stay a day or two with us, to have heard 
and considered further of these articles." 

On their way home, the New England agents 
stopped at Flushing, Stamford and New Haven, to 
collect all the evidence they could against Governor 
Stuyvesant. The hearsay stories of the Indians 
they carefully picked up. Still the only point ascer- 
tained, of any moment was, that Governor Stuyve- 
sant had told an Englishman, one Robert Coe, that if 
the English attacked him, he should try to get the In- 
dians to come to his aid ; and that he had said the 
same to William Alford. 

This was all the evidence the agents could find 
against the governor. He had made these declara- 
tions without any purpose of concealment. He had 
been instructed to pursue this course by the Am- 
sterdam Directors. The New England colonists 
had in their Pequod war, set the example of employ- 
ing Indian allies. This repulsive feature in the Brit- 
ish colonial administration continued until the close 
of the war of the Revolution. 

Captair John Underbill, an Englishman, who had 


obtained considerable renown in the Pequod war 
becoming dissatisfied with some ecclesiastical cen- 
sure which he had incurred, petitioned Governor 
Stuyvesant for permission to reside, with a few other 
families in New Netherland, under the protection 
of the Dutch, offering to take the oath of allegiance 
which was required of all foreigners. His request 
was promptly granted. It was the liberal policy of 
the Dutch government not to exclude foreigners 
from any privileges which the Hollanders themselves 
enjoyed. Underbill was now residing at Hempstead, 
Long Island. His restless spirit, ever eager for 
change, seized upon the present moment as a fitting 
opportunity to wrest from the Dutch their portion 
of Long Island, and pass it over to his countrymen. 
In violation of his oath he issued a treasonable proc- 
lamation, in which he said, 

" You are called upon to abjure the iniquitous 
government of Peter Stuyvesant over the inhabi- 
tants residing on Long Island. His rule is too 
grievous for any brave Englishman and good chris- 
tian to tolerate any longer. All honest hearts that 
seek the glory of God and his peace and prosperity, 
are exhorted to throw off this tyrannical yoke. Ac- 
cept and submit ye then to the Parliament of Eng- 
land ; and beware of becoming traitors to one 


another for the sake of your own quiet and wel- 

This proclamation did not meet with a cordial 
response. Underhill fled to Rhode Island. Here 
he received from Boston a commission, " to take all 
Dutch ships and vessels as shall come into his pow- 
er, and to defend himself from the Dutch and all 
enemies of the commonwealth of England.'' 

The report of the agents who had visited Man- 
hattan was such that the General Court at Boston 
voted that they were not " called upon to make a 
present war with the Dutch." 

There were eight commissioners from the New 
England colonies in Boston. Notwithstanding this 
decision of the General Court, six of them were in 
favor of instant war. They sent back to Governor 
Stuyvesant an abusive and defiant reply, in which 
they said, 

" Your confident denials of the barbarous plot 
with which you are charged will weigh httle in the 
balance against the evidence, so that we must still 
require and seek due satisfaction and security." 

The Connecticut colonists were ever looking 
with a wistful eye to the rich lands west of them. 
The Court at New Haven and that at Hartford sent 
messengers to Massachusetts to urge that " by war 
if no other means will serve, the Dutch, at and 


about the Manhattoes, who have been and still ar« 
like to prove injurious, may be removed.'' The 
General Court nobly replied, " We cannot act in so 
weighty a concernment, as to send forth men to 
shed blood, unless satisfied that God calls for it. 
And then it must be clear and not doubtful.'' 

" In speaking of these events Mr. Brodhead says, 
"At the annual meeting of the Commissioners, Mas- 
sachusetts maintained her proud position with a 
firmness which almost perilled the stabiUty of the 
confederation. A bitter altercation, between the 
representatives of the other colonies and the Gener- 
al Court, was terminated by an ambiguous conces- 
sion which nevertheless averted hostilities. 

" The Connecticut governments seemed animated 
by the most vindictive feelings ; and their own recent 
historian laments the refusal of the Massachusetts 
authorities to bear part in an offensive war against 
New Netherland, as an ' indelible stain upon their 
honor as men, and upon their morals as christians.' " 

There was a strong party in favor of war as the 
only means of wresting the magnificent domain of 
New Netherland from the Dutch and annexing it to 
the New England possessions. The majestic Hud- 
son was greatly coveted, as it opened to commerce 
vast and unknown regions of the interior. 

Hartford and New Haven discussed the question 


if they were not strong enough without the aid of 
Massachusetts to subdue the Dutch. Stamford and 
Fairfield commenced raising volunteers on their own 
account, and appointed one Ludlow as their leader. 
A petition was sent to the home government, the 
Commonwealth over which Oliver Cromwell was 
then presiding, praying " that the Dutch be either 
removed or, so far, at least, subjected that the colo- 
nies may be free from injurious affronts and secured 
against the dangers and mischievous effects which 
daily grow upon them by their plotting with the 
Indians and furnishing them with arms against the 

In conclusion they entreated that two or three 
frigates be sent out, and that Massachusetts be com- 
manded to assist the other colonies to clear the 
coast " of a nation with which the English cannot 
either mingle or set under their government, nor so 
much as live near without danger of their lives and 
all their comforts in this world." 

To fan this rising flame of animosity against the 
Dutch, a rancorous pamphlet was published in Lon- 
don, entitled, " The second part of the Amboyna 
Tragedy ; or a faithful account of a bloody, treacher- 
ous and cruel plot of the Dutch in America, purport- 
ing the total ruin and murder of all the English 
colonists in New England ; extracted from the 


various letters lately written from New England to 
different merchants in London." 

This was indeed an inflammatory pamphlet. The 
most violent language was used. The Dutch were 
accused of the " devilish project" of trying to rouse 
the savages to a simultaneous assault upon all the 
New England colonists. The crime was to be per' 
petrated on Sunday morning, when they should be 
collected in their houses of worship. Men, women 
and children were to be massacred, and the buildings 
laid in ashes. 

The Amsterdam Directors had this " most infa- 
mous and lying libel," translated into their own lan- 
guage and sent a copy to Governor Stuyvesant and 
his council, saying : 

" We wish that your honors may see what strata- 
gems that nation employs, not only to irritate the 
populace, but the whole world if possible and to stir 
it up against us." 

The position of Governor Stuyvesant had become 
exceedingly uncomfortable. He was liable at any 
day to have from abroad war's most terrible storm 
burst upon him. And the enemy might come in 
such force that he would be utterly unable to make 
any effectual resistance. On the other hand the 
Dutch settlements were composed of emigrants from 
all lands. Many Englishmen, dissatisfied with the 


rigid rule of the New England colonies, had taken 
their residence in New Netherland. 

The arbitrary rule of Stuyvesant was obnoxious 
to the majority of his subjects, and they were in- 
creasingly clamorous for a more liberal and popular 
government. On the i6th of December, 1630, a 
very important popular convention was held at New 
Amsterdam, composed of delegates from eight 
towns. There were nineteen delegates, ten of whom 
were Dutch and nine English. Unanimously they 
avowed fealty to the government of Holland. But 
they remonstrated against the establishment of an 
arbitrary government ; and complained that laws 
had been enacted without the consent of the people. 

" This," said they, " is contrary to the granted 
privilege of the Netherland government and odious 
to every free-born man ; and especially so to those 
whom God has placed in a free state in newly-settled 
lands, who are entitled to claim laws not transcend- 
ing, but resembling as near as possible those of the 

There were several minor offences enumerated 
to which we need not here refer. The memorial was 
drawn up by an Englishman, George Baxter. The 
imperious Stuyvesant was greatly annoyed by this 
document. To weaken its effect, he declared that 
the delegates had no authority to act or even to 


meet upon such questions. He endeavored to rouse 
national prejudice against the document by saying 
" The most ancient colony of Manhattan, the 
colonies of Rensselaerswyck and Staten Island and 
the settlements at Beaverswyck and on the South 
river are too prudent to subscribe to all that has 
been projected by an Englishman ; as if among the 
Netherlands' nation there is no one sagacious and 
expert enough to draw up a remonstrance to the 
Director and council-" 

Another Indian War. 

Otnflict Between the Governor and the Citizens. — Energy o) th* 
Governor. — His Measures of Defence. — Action of the English 
Colonies. — Claims of the Government of Sweden. — Fort Casd- 
mir captured by the Swedes. — Retaliation. — Measures for the 
recapture of Fort Casimir. — Shooting a Squaw. — Its Consequen- 
ces. — The Ransom of Prisoners. — Complaints of the Swedish 
Governor. — Expedition from Sweden. — Its Fate. 

There was a brief but bitter controversy between 
the governor and the convention, when the govern- 
or ordered the body to disperse, " on pain of our 
highest displeasure." " We derive our authority," 
said he, " from God, and from the Company, not 
from a few ignorant subjects. And we alone can 
call the inhabitants together." These decisive 
measures did not stifle the popular voice. Petitions 
were sent to the Company in Holland, full of com- 
plaints against the administration of Stuyvesant, 
and imploring its intervention to secure the redress 
of the grievances which were enumerated. 

An able man, Francois le Bleuw, was sent to Hol- 
land with these documents, with instructions to do 


everything in his power to procure the reforms they 
urged. Though the citizens of New Amsterdam 
had, for a year, enjoyed a Hmited municipal govern- 
ment, they were by no means satisfied with what 
they had thus far attained. What they claimed, and 
reasonably claimed, were the larger franchises enjoy- 
ed by the cities in the fatherland. 

The condition of New Netherland, at the com- 
mencement of the year 1654, was very precarious. 
The troubled times, as is ever the case, had called 
out swarms of pirates and robbers, who infested the 
shores of Long Island, inflicting the most cruel ex- 
cesses upon the unprotected inhabitants. The 
English residents in the Dutch colonies were numer 
ous, and they were ripe for revolt. The Dutch 
themselves were uttering loud murmurs. The gov- 
ernor acted with his accustomed energy. Several 
vessels were fitted out to act against the pirates. 
Many of these pirates professed to be privateersmen, 
serving the Commonwealth of Eng'land. It was 
suspected that the English residents were commu- 
nicating with the freebooters, who were chiefly their 
own countrymen. 

A proclamation was issued prohibiting all per- 
sons, under penalty of banishment and the confisca- 
tion of goods, from harboring the outlaws. Every 
third man was detailed to act as a minute man 


whenever required ; and the whole population was 
pledged for the public defence. At the same time, 
to prevent any misunderstanding, messengers were 
sent to Connecticut to inform the colonial authori- 
ties there, that these measures were adopted solely 
for the protection of their commerce and the pun- 
ishment of robbery. 

In February of this year, a church was organized 
at Flatbush. Domine Polhemus was chosen pastor, 
with a salary of six hundred guilders. A cruciform 
wooden church was erected, sixty feet long and 
twenty-eight feet wide. This was the first Reform- 
er Dutch Church on Long Island. The Lutherans 
had now become quite numerous in New Amster- 
dam. They petitioned for liberty to organize a 
church. Stuyvesant, a zealous Calvinist, declined, 
saying that he was bound by his oath to tolerate no 
other religion openly than the Reformed. In this 
intolerance he was sustained by the Company in 

Oliver Cromwell now decided to carry the war 
against Holland into the New World. He sent 
word to the governors of the New England Colo- 
nists that he was about to dispatch war ships to the 
coasts of America, and he called upon them to give 
their utmost assistance for gaining the Manhattoes 
«nd other places under the power of the Dutch." 


Four armed ships were soon crossing the Atlan- 
tic. The expedition was entrusted to Major Sedg- 
wick and John Leverett. They were directed to 
enter some good port in New England, where they 
were to ascertain whether the colonial governments 
would join in vindicating the English right and in 
extirpating the Dutch. 

" Being come to the Manhattoes," wrote secre^ 
tary Thurlow, " you shall, by surprise, open force, or 
otherwise, endeavor to take the place. You have 
power to give fair quarter in case it be rendered 
upon summons without opposition. If the Lord 
give his blessing, you shall not use cruelty to the 
inhabitants, but encourage those who are willing to 
remain under the English government, and give 
\iberty to others to transport themselves to Eu- 

Governor Stuyvesant received early intelligence 
of the projected expedition, and immediately con- 
vened his council. The danger was imminent. The 
Dutch alone could oppose but feeble resistance. 
The English in the Dutch colony, though they had 
sworn allegiance, would probably join their country- 
men. " To invite them," Governor Stuyvesant said, 
" to aid us, would be bringing the Trojan horse 
within our walls." After much anxious deliberation, 
it was decided to enlist a force of seventy men, 


" silently and without beat of drum," and to lay in 
supplies to stand a siege. 

The danger roused the spirit of patriotism. The 
Dutch rallied with great unanimity and, spade in 
hand, worked heartily on the fortifications. They 
were all conscious, however, that treason lurked 
within their walls. 

Several of the New England colonies responded 
quite eagerly to the appeal of Cromwell. New 
Haven pledged herself to the most zealous efforts 
Connecticut promised two hundred men, and even 
five hundred rather than that the enterprise should 
fail. Plymouth ordered fifty men into the service, 
entrusting the command to Captain Miles Standish 
and Captain Thomas Willett. It is worthy of notice 
that the Plymouth people made an apology for this 
action, saying : 

" We concur in hostile measures against our 
ancient Dutch neighbors only in reference unto the 
national quarrel." 

Massachusetts gave a reluctant consent that five 
hundred volunteers against the Dutch should be 
raised within their jurisdiction. 

Just as the fleet was about to sail from Boston, 
on this expedition, the result of which could not be 
doubtful, a ship entered the port with the announce- 
ment that peace had been concluded between Eng- 


land and Holland. This of course put a stop to any 
farther hostile action. The welcome news was soon 
conveyed to Governor Stuyvesant. He was quite 
overjoyed in its reception. The glad tidings were 
published from the City Hall, with ringing of bell 
and all other public demonstrations of satisfaction. 

The 1 2th of August was appointed as a day of 
general thanksgiving to God for his great goodness. 
In his proclamation, the Governor devoutly ex- 
claimed : 

" Praise the Lord, O England's Jerusalem and 
Netherland's zion, praise ye the Lord ! IJe hath 
secured your gates and blessed your possessions 
with peace, even here where the threatened torch of 
war was lighted, where the waves reached our lips 
and subsided only through the power of the Al- 

From this moral conflict, which came so near 
being a physical one, Stuyvesant emerged very 
victorious. The Company had ever been disposed 
to sympathize with him in his measures. The dele- 
gate Le Bleuw, who had carried charges against him 
to Holland, was almost rudely repulsed, and Wcis 
forbidden to return to New Netherland. The 
Directors of the Company wrote to the Governor: 

" We are unable to discover in the whole remon- 
strance one single point to justify complaint. You 


ought to have acted with more vigor against the 
ringleaders of the gang, and not to have conde- 
scended to answer protests with protests. It is 
therefore our express command that you punish 
what has occurred as it deserves, so that others may 
be deterred in future, from following such exam- 

To the citizens they wrote, " We enjoin it upon 
you that you conduct yourselves quietly and peace- 
ably, submit yourselves to the government placed 
over you, and in no wise allow yourselves to hold 
particular convention with the English or others, in 
matters of form or deliberation on affairs of state, 
which do not appertain to you, or attempt any al- 
teration in the state and its government." 

A feriy was established to convey passengers 
from one side of the river to the other. The li- 
censed ferryman was bound to keep suitable boats 
and also a lodge on each side of the river to protect 
passengers from the weather. The toll established by 
law, was for a wagon and two horses one dollar ; for 
a wagon and one horse eighty cents ; a savage, male 
or female, thirty cents ; each other person fifteen 

When Stuyvesant was preparing to defend New 
Netherland from the English, he encountered 
another great annoyance. It will be remembered 


that the Swedish government claimed the territory 
on the South, or Delaware river, upon which the 
Dutch governor had erected Fort Casimir. Gerrit 
Bikker was in command of the fort, with a garrison 
of twelve men. On the morning of the first of June, 
1654, a strange sail was seen in the offing. A small 
party was sent out in a boat, to reconnoitre. They 
returned with the tidings that it was a Swedish ship 
full of people, with a new governor ; and that they 
had come to take possession of the place, affirming 
that the fort was on land belonging to the Swedish 

Bikker with his small garrison, and almost desti- 
tute of ammunition, could make no resistance. 
Twenty or thirty soldiers landed from the Swedish 
ship, entered the open gate of the fort and took 
possession of the place. John Rising the com- 
mander of the ship, stated that he was obeying the 
orders of his government ; that the territory belong- 
ed to Sweden, and that neither the States-Gen- 
eral of the Netherlands nor the West India Com- 
pany had authorized Governor Stuyvesant to erect 
a fort upon that spot. 

The garrison was disarmed, two shotted guns 
were fired over the works in token of their capture, 
and the name of the fort was changed to Trinity, as 
it was on Trinity Sunday that the fort was taken 


A skilful engineer imnnediately employed many 
hands in strengthening the ramparts. The region 
was called New Sweden, and John Rising assumed 
his office as governor. Courteously he sent word 
to Governor Stuyvesant of his arrival and of his cap- 
ture of the forts. He also summoned the chiefs of 
the neighboring tribes and entered into a treaty of 
friendship with them. Within a month he announc- 
ed to the home government that the population of 
New Sweden had risen to three hundred and sixty- 
eight. " I hope," he added, " we may be able to 
preserve them in order and in duty, and to constrain 
them if necessary. I will do in this respect, all that 
depends upon me. We will also endeavor to shut 
up the river." 

Governor Stuyvesant was very indignant, in view 
of what he deemed the pusillanimous conduct of 
Bikker in " this dishonorable surrender of the fort." 
It was in vain for him to attempt its recovery. But 
with an eagle eye and an agitated mind he watched 
for an opportunity to retaliate. 

About the middle of September, a Swedish ship, 
the Golden Shark, bound for the Delaware river, un- 
der command of Captain Elswy-k, entered Sandy 
Hook and anchored behind Staten Island. The 
captain had made a mistake and supposed that he 
had entered the mouth of South river. Discovering 


his error, he sent a boat up to Manhattan for a pi- 

Stuyvesant's long-looked-for hour had come, 
lie arrested the boat's crew, and sent them all to 
the guard-house. He also seized the Shark and 
transferred her cargo to the Company's magazine on 
shore. He then sent a courteous message to Gov- 
ernor Rising, at New Sweden, inviting him to visit 
New Amsterdam, " to arrange and settle some un- 
expected differences." He promised him a hospita- 
ble reception, but declared that he should detain the 
Swedish ship and cargo, " until a reciprocal restitu- 
tion shall have been made.'' Governor Rising declin- 
ed the invitation, not deeming it judicious to place 
himself so effectually in the power of his impetuous 

Upon the capture of fort Casimir, Governor Stuy- 
vesant had immediately sent word of the occurrence 
to the Amsterdam Directors. In November he 
received their reply. It was, in brief, as follows: 

"We hardly know whether we are more aston- 
ished at the audacious enterprise of the Swedes in 
taking our fort on the South river, or at the cowardly 
surrender of it by our commander, which is nearly 
insufferable. He has acted very unfaithfully, yea 
treacherously. We entreat you to exert everj' nfirve 
to avenge that injury, not only by restoring affairs 


to their former situation, but by driving the Swedes 
from every side of the river. We have put in conn, 
mission two armed ships, the King Solomon and the 
Great Christopher. The drum is beaten daily in the 
streets of Amsterdam for volunteers. And orders 
are given for the instant arrest of Bikker. 

Stuyvesant adopted vigorous measures to co- 
operate with the little fleet upon its arrival, in its 
warfare against New Sweden. The 25th of August, 
1655, was set apart as a day of fasting and prayer, 
" to implore the only bountiful God, that it may 
please him to bless the projected enterprise, under- 
taken only for the greater security, extension and 
consolidation of this province, and to render it pros- 
perous and successful to the glory of his name." 

Enlistments were pushed with great energy. 
Three North river vessels were chartered, pilots were 
engaged and provisions and ammunition laid in 
store. A French privateer, L'Esperance, which 
chanced to enter the harbor of New Amsterdam at 
this time, was also engaged for the service. 

It seems hardly consistent with the religious 
character of Stuyvesant and with his prayers for the 
divine blessing, that the Lord's day should have been 
chosen for the saihng of the expedition. But on 
the first Sunday in September, after the morning 
sermcm, the sails of the little squadron of seven 


vessels were unfurled and the fleet put to sea, con- 
taining a military force of about seven hundred men. 
Governor Stuyvesant in person, commanded the 
expedition. He was accompanied by the Vice-Gov- 
ernor, De Lille, and by Domine Megapolensis, as 

On Friday morning they entered the Delaware 
river, and with favoring wind and tide, sailed up 
beyond fort Casimir, and landed their forces about a 
mile above. A flag of truce was promptly sent to 
the fort, demanding " the direct restitution of our 
own property.'' Some parleying occupied the time 
during the day, while Stuyvesant was landing his 
batteries. The next morning the Swedish com- 
mander, convinced of the folly of any further 
attempt at resistance, went on board the Balance 
and signed a capitulation. The victor was generous 
in his terms. The Swedes were allowed to remove 
their artillery; twelve men were to march out with 
full arms and accoutrements ; all the rest retained 
their side-arms, and the officers held their personal 

At noon the Dutch, with pealing bugles and fly- 
ing banners again entered upon possession of the 
fort. Many of the Swedes took the oath of allegi- 
ance to the New Netherland government. The 
next day was Sunday. Chaplain Megapolensi* 


preached a sermon to the troops. But a short dis- 
tance above fort Casimir there was another Swedish 
fort called Christina. It was not denied that the 
Swedes had a legitimate title to that land. Indeed 
after the Company in Holland had sent directions to 
Stuyvesant to drive the Swedes from the river, they 
sent to him another order modifying these instruc- 
tions. In this dispatch they said : 

"You may allow the Swedes to hold the land 
on which fort Christina is built, with a garden to 
cultivate the tobacco, because it appears that they 
made this purchase with the previous consent of 
the Company, provided said Swedes will conduct 
themselves as good subjects of our government.'' 

But the Swedish Governor, Rising, having lost 
fort Casimir, re-assembled his forces and strengthen- 
ed his position in Fort Christina, which was two 
miles farther up the river. This fort was about 
thirty-five miles below the present site of Philadel- 
phia, on a small stream called Christina creek. The 
fleet anchored at the mouth of the Brandywine, and 
invested the fort on all sides. The Swedes outside 
of the fort were ruthlessly pillaged ; a battery was 
erected and the fort summoned to surrender. Re- 
sistance was hopeless. The articles of capitulation 
were soon signed between the victor and the var» 


" The Swedes marched out with their arms, col- 
ors flying, matches lighted, drums beating and fifes 
playing ; and the Dutch took possession of the fort, 
hauled down the Swedish flag and hoisted their 

The Swedes, who to the number of about two 
hundred had settled in that vincinity, were allowed 
to remain in the country, if they wished to do so, 
upon condition of taking the oath of allegiance to 
the Dutch authorities. Thus the Swedish domin- 
ion on the South river was brought to an end. This 
was the most powerful military expedition which 
had ever moved from any of the colonies. The 
Swedes had held their independent position on the 
Delaware but about seventeen years. Leaving an 
agent, as temporary commandant, Stuyvesant re- 
turned triumphantly to fort Amsterdam. 

And now for ten years there had been peace 
with the Indians, when a gross outrage again roused 
their savage natures to revenge. The Indians, ever 
accustomed to roam the forest, and to gather fruits, 
nuts and game wherever they could find them, had 
not very discriminating views of the rights of pri- 
vate property. Ensign Van Dyck, the former treas- 
urer, and one of the most noted men in the colony, 
detected an Indian woman in his orchard gathering 
peaches. Inhumanly he shot her dead. This rous 


ed all the neighboring tribes, and they united to 
avenge her death. There was certainly something 
chivalrous in this prompt combination of the war- 
riors not to allow, what they deemed the murder of 
a sister, to pass unpunished. 

Taking advantage of the absence of Governor 
Stuyvesant, with nearly all the military force he 
could raise, on his expedition to the South river, 
sixty-four war canoes, containing nineteen hundred 
armed Indians, were at midnight on the fifteenth of 
September, stealthily paddled into the waters sur- 
rounding fort Amsterdam. They were picked war- 
riors from eight tribes. The night was dark, and 
the sighing of the wind through the^tree tops and 
the breaking of the surf upon the beach added to 
the deep repose of the sleepers. 

The Indians landed and stealthily crept through 
the silent streets ; and yet, from some unexplained 
cause, they made no attack. Gradually the inhabi- 
tants were awakened, and there was a rapid assem- 
bling of the principal men within the fort. Several 
of the ckkfs were called before them. They 
gave no satisfactory account of the object of their 
formidable visit, and uttered no threats. On the 
contrary they promised to withdraw before night, 
to Nutten Island, as Governor's island was then 
called. Still, watching their opportunity, one of tho 


warriors pierced the Jaosom of Van Dyck with an 

The cry of murder rang through the streets. 
The inhabitants were prepared for the not unexpect- 
ed emergency. The military rushed from the 
fort, and a fierce battle ensued. The Indians, leav- 
ing three of their warriors dead in the streets, and 
having killed five white men and wounded three 
others, were driven to their canoes, and crossed over 
the North river to the Jersey shore. 

And now their savage natures burst forth unre- 
strained. The flourishing little villages of Pavonia 
and Hoboken were instantly in flames. A general 
scene of massacre and destruction ensued. Men, 
women and children fell alike before the bullet, the 
arrow and the tomahawk. The inhabitants of fort 
Amsterdam in anguish witnessed the massacre, but 
could render no assistance. Nearly all their armed 
men were far away on the Delaware. 

The savages, elated with success, crossed over to 
Staten island. The scattered settlements there 
numbered about ninety souls. There were eleven 
farms in a high state of cultivation, and several 
plantations. The settlers had received warning of 
their danger, perhaps by the flames and musketry 
of Hoboken and Pavonia, perhaps by some messen- 
ger from fort Amsterdam. Sixty-seven of them 


succeeded in reaching some stronghold where they 
•"vere able to defend themselves. The rest, twenty- 
three in number, were cut off by the savages. The 
buildings of twenty-eight farms and plantations 
were laid in ashes and the crops destroyed. 

For three days these merciless Indians had free 
range, with scarcely any opposition. During this 
time one hundred of the Dutch were killed, one 
hundred and fifty were taken prisoners, and more 
than three hundred were deprived of house, clothes 
and food. Six hundred cattle and a vast amount of 
grain were destroyed. The pecuniary value of the 
damage inflicted amounted to over eighty thousand 

Such were the consequences which resulted from 
the folly and crime of one man in shooting an Indian 
woman who was purloining peaches from his orchard. 
Terror spread far and wide. The farmers with their 
families, fled from all directions to fort Amsterdam 
for protection. The feeble settlements on Long 
island were abandoned in dismay. Prowling bands 
of savages wandered over the island of Manhattan, 
burning and destroying. No one dared to venture 
to any distance from the fort. An express was dis- 
patched to South river to inform Governor Stuyve- 
sant of the peril of the colony, and to implore his 
return. This led to the hurried close of the trajsfeac- 


tions on the Delaware, and probably secured for the 
Swedes more favorable terms of capitulation than 
they would otherwise have obtained. 

The return of Governor Stuyvesant with his 
military force, reassured the colonists. In such an 
hour his imperious nature hesitated not a moment 
in assuming the dictatorship. The one man power, 
so essential on the field of battle, seemed requisite 
in these scenes of peril. There was no time for 
deliberation. Prompt and energetic action was 

The governor sent soldiers to the outer settle- 
ments ; forbade any vessel to leave the harbor, forced 
into the ranks every man capable of bearing arms, 
and imposed a heavy tax to meet the expense of 
strengthening the fortifications. Several persons, 
who were about to sail for Europe, protested against 
being thus detained. Governor Stuyvesant fined 
them each ten dollars for disrespect to the establish- 
ed authorities, and contemptuously advised them to 
" possess their souls in patience." 

The savages found their captives an incumbrance. 
Winter was approaching and provisions were scarce. 
They sent one of their prisoners, an influential man, 
captain Pos, who had been superintendent of the 
colony on Staten island, to propose the ransom of 
those captured for a stipulated amount of powder 


and balls. As captain Pos did not return as soon as 
was expected, another messenger was sent, and soon 
one of the chiefs returned to Governor Stuyvesant, 
fourteen Dutch men, women a^id children, as a 
present in token of his good will, and asking that a 
present of powder and ball might be forwarded to 

The governor sent in return some ammunition 
and two Indian captives and promised to furnish 
more ammunition when other christians should be 
brought in. 

Three envoys from New Amsterdam visited the 
savages bearing these presents. They were received 
with the courtesies which civilized nations accord to 
a flag of truce. In this way twenty-eight more 
captives were ransomed. The promise was given 
that others should be soon brought in. Governor 
Stuyvesant inquired at what price they would release 
all the remaining prisoners en masse, or what they 
would ask for each individual. They deliberated 
upon the matter and then replied that they would 
deliver up twenty-eight prisoners for seventy-eight 
pounds of powder, and forty staves of lead. 

The governor immediately sent the amount, and 
hoping to excite their generosity, added as a present 
in token of friendly feeling, thirty-five pounds of 
powder and ten staves of lead. But the savages did 


not appreciate this kindness. They returned the 
twenty-eight prisoners and no more. 

The governor of the Swedish colony on the 
Delaware arrived at New Amsterdam with a numer- 
ous suite, awaiting their transportation to Europe 
according to the terms of the capitulation. He was 
in very ill humor, and Governor Stuyvesant found it 
impossible to please him. He entered bitter com- 
plaints against the governor, declaring that the 
articles of the late treaty had been grossly violated. 

''In Christina," said he, "the women were vio- 
lently driven out of their houses. The oxen, cows 
and other animals were butchered. Even the horses 
were wantonly shot. The whole country was deso- 
lated. Your men carried off even my own property, 
and we were left without means of defence against 
the savages. No proper accommodations have been 
provided for me and my suite at New Amsterdam, 
and our expenses have not been defrayed." 

With much dignity Governor Stuyvesant vindi- 
cated himself. " I offered," he said, " to leave fort 
Christina in your possession, but you refused it. I 
am not responsible for any property for which I have 
not given a receipt. On account of your high 
station, I offered more than once to entertain you in 
my own house. As this did not satisfy you, you 
were induced to reside in one (f the principal houses 


of the city. There you indulged in unmannerly 
threats that you would return and destniy this place. 
This so annoyed the people of the house that, for 
peace sake, they abandoned their lodgings. 

" The rumors of these threats reached the ears 
of the captains of the small vessels, and the passen- 
gers with whom you were to embark. They did not 
deem it safe to take you and your suite, with such 
a large number of dependents. They feared to land 
you in England or France, unless they should chance 
to meet some English or French vessel in the Chan- 
nel. We entered into no obligation to defray your 
expenses or those of your unusual suite.'' 

Soon after this Governor Rising and his attend- 
ants were embarked for Europe in two vessels. A 
narrative was, at the same time, sent to the father- 
land of the recent Indian troubles. The defence- 
less condition of the country was explained and as- 
sistance earnestly implored. 

There were still a number of captives held by the 
Indian tribes who dwelt among the Highlands, 
The question was anxiously deliberated, in the 
Council, respecting the best mode of recovering them. 
One only. Van Tienhoven, was in favor of war. But 
Governor Stuyvesant said, 

" The recent war is to be attributed to the rash, 
ness of a few hot-hea'ded individuals. It beconiei 


us to reform ourselves, to abstain from all that is 
wrong, and to protect our villages with proper de- 
fences. Let us build block-houses wherever they 
are needed and not permit any armed Indian to en- 
ter the European settlements." 

The Long Island Indians sent a delegation to 
New Amsterdam declaring that for ten years, since 
1645, they had been the friends of the Dutch, and 
had done them no harm, " not even to the value of 
a dog." They sent, as a present, a bundle of wam- 
pum in token of the friendship of the chiefs of the 
Eastern tribes. But the up-river Indians continued 
sullen. With their customary cunning or sagacity 
they retained quite a number of captives, holding 
them as pledges to secure themselves from the ven- 
geance of the Dutch. There was no hope of libera- 
ting them by war, since the Indians would never de- 
liver up a white captive in exchange for prisoners 
of their own tribes. And upon the first outbreak of 
war the unfortunate Dutch prisoners would be con- 
veyed to inaccessible depths of the forests. 

The Dutch settlers had scattered widely, on 
farms and plantations. Thus they were peculiarly 
exposed to attacks from the Indians, and could ren- 
der each other but little assistance. As a remedy 
for this evil, Governor Stuj'vesant issued a procla- 
mation ordering all who lived in secluded places 


in the country to assemble and unite themselves 
in villages before the ensuing spring, " after the 
fashion," as he said, "of our New England neigh- 

In Sweden, before the tidings of the fall of fort 
Casimir had reached that country, an expedition 
had been fitted out for the South river, conveying 
one hundred and thirty emigrants. Stuyvesant, on 
learning of their arrival, forbade them to land. He 
dispatched a vessel and a land force, to capture the 
Swedish ship the Mercury, and bring it with all the 
passengers to fort Amsterdam. Having disposed of 
her cargo, the vessel and all the Swedish soldiers it 
bore, were sent back to Europe. 

In obedience to orders froin home, Stuyvesant 
erected a fort at Oyster Bay, on the north side of 
Long island. In the instructions he received he was 
enjoined, " to maintain, by force, if necessary, the in- 
tegrity of the Dutch province, the boundaries of 
which have just been formally confirmed by the 

The Directors added, "We do not hesitate to 
approve of your expedition on the South river, and 
its happy termination. We should not have been 
displeased, however, if such a formal capitulation for 
the surrender of the forts had not taken place, but 
that the whole business had been transacted in a 


manner similar to that of which the Swedes set us 
an example when they made themselves masters of 
fort Casimir." 


An Energetic Administration. 

Ffew Amsterdam in 1656. — Religious Intolerance. — Persecution el 
the Waldenses. — The New Colony on South river. — Wreck of 
the Prince Maurice. — The Friendly Indians. — Energetic Actien 
of the Governor. — Persecution of the Quakers. — Remonstrance 
from Flushing. — The Desolation of Staten Island. — Purchase of 
Bergen. — Affairs at Esopus. — The Indian Council. — Generosity 
of the Indians. — New Amstel. — Encroachments of the English. 

War would doubtless have arisen, between 
Sweden and Holland, in view of transactions on 
South river, had not all the energies of Sweden been 
then called into requisition in a war with Poland. 
The Swedish government contented itself with pre- 
senting a vigorous memorial to the States-General, 
which for eight years was renewed without accom- 
plishing any redress. 

The vice-governor resided at fort Orange, in a 
two story house, the upper floor of which was used 
as a court-room. This station was the principal 
mart for the fur trade, which had now become so 
considerable that upwards of thirty-five thousand 
beaver skins were exported during the year 1656. 

A survey of the city of New Amsterdam was 


made this year, which showed that there were one 
hundred and twenty houses, and a population of one 
thousand souls. A man like Stuyvesant, the warm 
advocate of arbitrary power, would almost of neces- 
sity, be religiously intolerant. Zealously devoted to 
the Reformed church, and resolved to have unity 
in religion, notwithstanding the noble toleration 
which existed in Holland, he issued a proclamation 
forbidding any one from holding a religious meet- 
ing not in harmony with the Reformed church. 

Any preacher, who should violate this ordinance 
was to be subjected to a penalty of one hundred 
pounds. Any one who should attend such a meet- 
ing was to be punished by a penalty of twenty-five 

This law was rigorously enforced. Recusants 
were fined and imprisoned. Complaints were sent 
to Holland, and the governor was severely rebuked 
for his bigotry. 

" We would fain," the Directors wrote to Stuy- 
vesant, " not have seen your worship's hand set to 
the placard against the Lutherans, nor have heard 
that you oppressed them with the imprisonments 
of which the)' have complained to us. It has always 
been our intention to let them enjoy all calmness 
and tranquillity. Wherefore you will not hereafter 
publish any similar placards, without our previous 


consent, but allow all the free exercise of their reli- 
gion within their own houses." 

But Stuyvesant was a man born to govern, not 
be governed. He was silent respecting the instruc- 
tions he had received from home. When the Luther- 
ans informed him that the Directors of the Com- 
pany had ordered that the same toleration should 
exist in New Netherland which was practiced in the 
fatherland, he firmly replied that he must wait for fur- 
ther explanations, and that in the mean time his ordin- 
ance against public conventicles must be executed. 

At Flushing a cobbler from Rhode Island, a bap- 
tist, William Wickendam by name, ventured to 
preach, " and even went with the people into the 
river and dipped them." He was fined one thou- 
sand pounds and ordered to be banished. As he 
was a poor man the debt was remitted, but he was 
obliged to leave the province. 

It will be remembered that thus far nearly all 
the operations of the Dutch, in the New World, had 
been performed under the authority of Dutch mer- 
chants, called "The West India Company." Their 
chartered powers were very great. Only in a sub- 
ordinate degree were they subject to the control of 
the States-General. 

At this time there was a very cruel persecution 
commenced by the Duke of Savoy against the Wal- 


denses. Hundreds of them fled to the city of 
Amsterdam, in Holland, which was then the refuge 
for the persecuted of all nations. They were received 
with the most noble hospitality. The city govern- 
ment not only gave them an asylum, but voted large 
sums from its treasury, for their support. 

Carrying out this policy, the city decided to es- 
tablish a colony of its own in New Netherland, to 
be composed mainly of these Waldenses. The 
municipal authorities purchased of the West India 
Company, for seven hundred guilders, all the land 
on the west side of South river, from Christina kill 
to Bombay Hook. This gave a river front of about 
forty miles, running back indefinitely into the 
interior. This region was named New Amstel. 
The colonists were offered a free passage, ample 
farms on the river, and provisions and clothing for 
one year. The city also agreed to send out "a 
proper person for a schoolmaster, who shall also read 
the holy Scriptures in public and set the Psalms." 
A church was to be organized so soon as there were 
two hundred inhabitants in the colony. 

The Company wrote to Stuyvesant saying, " The 
confidence we feel about the success and increase of 
this new colony of which we hope to see some 
prominent features next spring, when to all appear- 
ance, large numbers of the exiled Waldenses will 


flock thither, as to an asylum, induces us to send you 
orders to endeavor to purchase of the Indians, before 
it can be accomplished by any other nation, all that 
tract of land situated between the South river and 
the Hook of the North river, to provide estabhsh- 
ments for these emigrants." 

On Christmas day of 1656, three vessels contain- 
ing one hundred and sixty emigrants, sailed from 
the Texel. A wintry storm soon separated them. 
The principal ship, the Prince Maurice, which had 
the largest number of passengers, after a long voy- 
age, was wrecked on the South coast of Long island, 
near Fire island inlet, in the neighborhood of the 
present town of Islip. It was midnight when the 
ship struck. As soon as it was light the passengers 
and crew succeeded in reaching the shore in their 
boats through the breakers and through vast masses 
of floating ice. 

They found upon the shore a bleak, barren, tree- 
less waste, " without weeds, grass or timber of any 
sort to make a fire." It was bitter cold. A fierce 
wind swept the ocean and the land, and the sea ran 
so high that it was expected every moment the ship 
would go to pieces. These poor emigrants thus 
suddenly huddled upon the icy land, without food 
and without shelter, were in imminent peril of per- 
ishing from cold and starvation. 


Their sufferings were so terrible that they were 
rejoiced to see some Indians approaching over the 
wide plains, though they knew not whether the 
savages would prove hostile or friendly. But the 
Indians came like brothers, aided them in every way, 
and dispatched two swift runners across the island 
to inform Governor Stuyvesant of the calamity. 
Some sails were brought on shore, with which a 
temporary shelter from the piercing blast was con- 
structed, and enough food was secured to save from 
absolute starvation. 

The energetic governor immediately dispatched 
nine or ten lighters to their assistance, and with 
needful supplies proceeded in person to the scene 
of the disaster. Thus nearly all the cargo was 
saved and the passengers were transported to New 
Amsterdam. There were one hundred and twenty- 
five passengers on board the Prince Maurice, 
seventy-six of whom were women and children. 
Another ship, the Gilded Beaver, was chartered at 
New Amsterdam which conveyed them all safely, 
after a five days' passage, to South river. The other 
vessels, with soldiers and a few settlers, also soon 

It is said that at this time the " public," exercis- 
es of religion were not allowed to any sects in Hol- 
land except the Calvinists, But all others were per- 


mitted to engage freely in their worship in private 
houses, which were in fact, as if public, these places 
of preaching being spacious and of sufficient size for 
any assembly. Under this construction of the law 
every religion was in fact tolerated.* 

The Lutherans in Hollaud sent a clergyman, 
Ernestus Goetwater, to New Amsterdam, to organize 
a church. The Directors wrote, " It is our intention 
to permit every one to have freedom within his 
own dwelling, to serve God in such manner as his 
religion requires, but without authorizing any pub- 
lic meetings or conventicles." 

This tolerance, so imperfect in the light of the 
nineteenth century, was very noble in the dark days 
of the seventeenth. Upon the arrival of Goetwater 
at New Amsterdam, the clergy of the Reformed 
church remonstrated against his being permitted to 
preach. The governor, adhering to his policy of 
bigotry, forbade him to hold any meeting, or to do 
any clerical service, but to regulate his conduct ac- 
cording to the placards of the province against pri- 
vate conventicles. Soon after this the governor 
ordered him to leave the colony and to return to 
Holland. This harsh decree was however suspend- 
ed out of regard to the feeble health of Goetwater. 

On the 6th of August, 1657, a ship arrived at 
• History of New Netherland by E. B. O'CaUaghan, Vol 2. p. 317 


New Amsterdam with several Quakers on board 
Two of them, women, began to preach publicly in 
the streets. They were arrested and imprisoned. 
Soon after they were discharged and embarked on 
board a ship to sail through Hell Gate, to Rhode Isl- 
and, " where," writes Domine Megapolensis, " all 
kinds of scum dwell, for it is nothing else than a 
sink for New England.'' 

One of the Quakers, Robert Hodgson, went 
over to Long Island. At Hempstead he was arrest- 
ed and committed to prison, and was thence trans- 
ferred to one of the dungeons of fort Amsterdam. 
He was brought before the Council, convicted of the 
crime of preaching contrary to the law, and was sen- 
tenced to pay a fine of six hundred guilders, about 
two hundred and forty dollars, or to labor two years 
at a wheelbarrow, with a negro. 

After a few days' imprisonment he was chained 
to the wheelbarrow and commanded tv work. He 
refused. A negro was ordered to beat nim with a 
tarred rope, which he did until the sufferer fell, in 
utter exhaustion, almost senseless to the ground. 
The story of the persecutions which this unhappy 
man endured, is almost too dreadful to be told. 
But it ought to be told as a warning against all re* 
ligious intolerance. 

" Not satisfied," writes O'Callaghan, " his perse 


cutors had him hfted up. The negro again beat 
him until he fell a second time, after receiving, as 
was estimated, one hundred blows. Notwithstand- 
ing all this, he was kept, in the heat of the sun, 
chained to the wheelbarrow, his body bruised and 
swollen, faint from want of food, until at length he 
could no longer support himself and he was obliged 
to sit down. 

" The night found him again in his cell, and the 
morrow at the wheelbarrow, with a sentinel over 
him, to prevent all conversation. On the third day 
he was again led forth, chained as before. He still 
refused to work, for he " had committed no evil." 
He was then led anew before the director-general, 
who ordered him to work, otherwise he should be 
whipt every day. He was again chained to the 
barrow and threatened, if he should speak to any 
person, with more severe punishment. But not be- 
ing able to keep him silent, he was taken back to his 
dungeon, where he was kept several days, " two 
nights and one day and a half of which without 
bread or water." 

" The rage of persecution was still unsatiated. 
He was now removed to a private room, stripped to 
his waist, and then hung up to the ceiling by his 
hands, with a heavy log of wood tied to his feet, so 
that he could not turn his body. A strong negro 


then commenced lashing him with rods until his 
flesh was cut in pieces. Now let down, he was 
thrown again into his loathsome dungeon, where he 
was kept ten days, in solitary confinement, after 
which he was brought forth to undergo a repetition 
of the same barbarous torture. He was now kept 
like a slave to hard work." 

His case eventually excited so much compassion 
that Stuyvesant's sister interfered, and implored her 
brother so importunately that he was at last induced 
to liberate the unfortunate man. Let a firm 
Quaker resolve that he will not do something, and 
let a Governor Stuyvesant resolve that "he shall do 
it, and it is indeed " Greek meeting Greek." 

Henry Townsend, of Jamaica, ventured to hold 
prayer-meetings in his house, in defiance of the 
ordinance against conventicles. The governor sen 
tenced him to pay a fine of eight pounds and to 
leave the province within six weeks, under pain of 
corporeal punishment. This sentence was followed 
by a proclamation, fining any one fifty pounds who 
should entertain a Quaker for a single night, and 
confiscating any vessels which should bring a Quake: 
to the province. 

The inhabitants of Flushing, where Townsena 
had formerly resided, and where he was very highly 
respected, issued a noble remonstrance to Governor 


Stuyvesant against this persecution of their former 

The remonstrance was drawn up by the town 
clerk, Edward Hart, and was signed by all the adult 
male inhabitants, twenty-nine in number. The 
memorial said : 

" We are commanded by the law of God to do 
good unto all men. The law of love, peace and 
liberty, extending in the state to Jews, Turks and 
Egyptians, forms the glory of Holland. So love, 
peace and liberty extending to all in Christ Jesus, 
condemn hatred, war and bondage. We desire not 
to offend one of Christ's little ones under whatever 
form, name or title he may appear, whether Presby- 
terian, Independent, Baptist or Quaker. On the 
contrary we desire to do to all as we could wish all 
to do to us. Should any of those people come in 
love among us, we cannot lay violent hands upon 
them. We must give them free ingress and egresj 
into our houses." 

This remonstrance was carried to New Amster- 
dam by Tobias Feake, and presented to the gov- 
ernor. His indignation was roused. Feake was 
arrested and committed to prison. The sheriff was 
sent to Flushing to bring Hart and two of the magis- 
. trates, Farrington and Noble, to the presence of the 
enraged governor. It was a fearful thing to fall into 


his hands when his wrath was inflamed. They were 
imprisoned for some time, and were then released 
upon their humbly imploring the pardon of the gov- 
ernor, expressing their deep regret that they had 
signed the remonstrance and promising that they 
would sin in that way, no more. The town itself 
was punished by the prohibition in future of all town 
meetings, without the permission of the governor. 
Indeed the mass of the settlers were no longer to 
decide upon their local affairs, but a committee of 
seven persons was to decide all such questions. All 
who were dissatisfied with these arrangements were 
ordered to sell their property and leave the town. 

It is not necessary to continue the record of this 
disgraceful persecution. The governor was unre- 
lenting. Whoever ventured to oppose his will felt 
the weight of his chastising hand. 

New Amsterdam consisted of wooden houses 
clustered together. The danger from fire was very 
great. The governor imposed a tax of a beaver 
skin, or its equivalent upon each householder to pay 
for two hundred and fifty leather fire buckets and 
hooks and ladders, to be procured in Holland. He 
also established a " rattle watch" to traverse the 
streets from nine o'clock in the evening until morn- 
ing drum-beat. 

Stuyv'csant would allow nothing to be done 


which he did not control. The education of the 
young was greatly neglected. Jacob Corlaer open- 
ed a school. The governor peremptorily closed it, 
because he had presumed to take the office without 
governmental permission. To establish a place of 
amusement the governor formed a village called 
Haarlem, at the northern extremity of Manhattan 
island. He also constructed a good road over the 
island, through the forest, " so that it may be made 
easy to come hither, and return to that village on 
horseback or in a wagon.'' A feiry was also estab- 
lished to Long Island. 

Staten Island was a dreary waste. It had not 
recovered from the massacre of 1655. Efforts were 
made to encourage the former settlers to return to 
their desolated homes, and to encourage fresh colo- 
nists to take up their residence upon the island. 
To promote the settlement of the west side of the 
North river, Stuyvesant purchased from the In- 
dians, all the territory now known as Bergen, in New 

This purchase comprised the extensive region, 
" beginning from the great rock above Wiehackan, 
and from there right through the land, until above 
the island Sikakes, and from there to the Kill van 
Col, and so along to the Constables Hook, and 
thence again to the rock above Wiehackan." 


The settlement at Esopus, was in many respects 
in a flourishing condition. But it was so much more 
convenient for the farmers to have their dwellings in 
the midst of the fields they cultivated, instead of 
clustering them together in a compact village, that 
they persisted in the dangerous practice, notwith- 
standing all the warnings of the governor. There 
were individuals also who could not be restrained 
from paying brandy to the savages for their peltries 
The intoxicated Indians often committed outrages. 
One of the settlers was killed. The house and out- 
buildings of another were burned. The Dutch re- 
taliated by destroying the cornfields of the Indians, 
hoping thus to drive them to a distance. At this 
time, in May, 1658, there were about seventy colo- 
nists at Esopus. They had widely extended fields 
of grain. But the Indians were becoming daily more 
inimical, and the alarmed colonists wrote to Govern 
or Stuyvesant, saying, 

" We pray you to send forty or fifty soldiers to 
save Esopus, which, if well settled, might supply the 
whole of New Netherland with provisions." 

The governor ordered a redoubt to be built at 
Esopus, sent an additional supply of ammunition, 
and taking fifty soldiers with him, went up the river 
to ascertain, by a personal investigation, the wants 
of the people. He urged them strenuously to unite 


in a village, which could be easily palisaded, and 
which would thus afford them complete protection. 
The colonists objected that it would be very diffi- 
cult to remove from their farms, while their crops 
were ungathered, and that it would be impossible to 
select a site for the village which would please all. 
The governor refused to leave the soldiers with 
them unless they would immediately decide to con- 
centrate in a village. In that case he would remain 
and aid them in constructing the palisade till it 
should be completed. 

In the mean time messengers were sent to all 
the neighboring chiefs inviting them to come to Eso- 
pus to meet " the grand sachem from Manhattan." 
Sixty of these plumed warriors were soon assem- 
bled, with a few women and children. The gov- 
ernor, with two followers and an interpreter, met 
them beneath the widespread branches of an 
aged tree. One of the chiefs opened the interview 
by a long speech, in which he recounted all the inju- 
ries which he conceived that the Indians had expe- 
rienced from the foreigners. The governor listened 
patiently. He then replied, 

" These events occurred, as you well know, before 
my time. I am not responsible for them. Has any 
injury been done you sirce I came into the country? 
Your chiefs have asked us, over and over again, to 


make a settlement among them. We have not had 
a foot of your land without paying for it. We do 
not desire to have any more without making you 
full compensation. Why then have you committed 
this murder, burned our houses and killed our cat- 
tle? And why do you continue to threaten our 
people ? " 

There was a long pause, as though the chiefs 
were meditating upon the answer which should be 
made. Then one of them rose and, with great de- 
liberation and dignity of manner, said, 

"You Swannekins," for that was the name they 
gave the Dutchmen, " have sold our children drink. 
We cannot then control them, or prevent them from 
fighting. This murder has not been committed by 
any of our tribe, but by a Minnisinck, who now skulks 
among the Haverstraws. 'Twas he who fired the two 
houses and then fled. We have no malice. We do 
not wish to fight. But we cannot control our young 
men after you have sold them drink.'' 

The best of the argument thus far, was manifest- 
ly with the Indians. The irascible governor lost 
his temper. " If any of your young savages," said 
he, " want to fight, let them come on. I will place 
man against man. Nay, I will place twenty against 
forty of your hotheads. It is not manly to threaten 
farmers and women and children who are not war 


riors. If this be not stopped I shall be compelled 
to retaliate on old and young, women and children. 
I expect of you that you will repair all damages and 
seize the murderer if he come among you. 

" The Dutch are now to live together in one 
spot. It is desirable that you should sell us the 
whole of the Esopus land and move farther into the 
interior. It is not well for you to reside so near the 
Swannekins. Their cattle may eat your corn and 
thus cause fresh disturbance." 

The Council was closed with professions of friend- 
ship on both sides. The Indians promised to take 
the suggestions of the governor into careful consid- 
eration. The settlers also decided to adopt the 
counsel of the governor. They agreed unanimous- 
ly to form themselves into a village, leaving it v/ith 
Governor Stuyvesant to select the site. He chose 
a spot at the bend of the creek, where three sides 
would be surrounded by water. Two hundred and 
ten yards of palisades formed the sufficient enclooure. 

All hands now went to work energetically. 
While thus employed a band of Indian warriors, in 
their most showy attire, was seen approaching. It 
was feared that they were on the war path, and the 
soldiers immediately stood to their arms. It is un- 
deniable that the Indians seemed ever disposed to 
cherish kindly feelings when justly tre«ted. 


These kind hearted savages fifty in number, not- 
withstanding all the wrongs which they had endur- 
ed, came forward and one of them, addressing the 
governor, said, 

In token of our good will, and that we have laid 
aside all malice, we request the Grand Sachem to ac- 
cept as a free present, the land on which he has 
commenced his settlement. We give it to grease 
his feet, as he has undertaken so long and painful a 
journey to visit us." 

The labor of three weeks completed the de- 
fences. The buildings were reared within the enclos- 
ure. A strong guard-house, sixteen feet by twen- 
ty-three, was built in the northeast corner of the vil- 
lage. A bridge was thrown across the creek, and 
temporary quarters were erected for the soldiers. 
The energetic governor having accomplished all 
this in a month, left twenty-four soldiers behind 
him to guard the village, and returned to Manhat 

In T658, the little settlement of New Amstel 
presented quite a flourishing appearance. It had 
become a goodly town of about one hundred houses,'' 
containing about five hundred inhabitants. As many 
of these were Waldenses, Swedes and emigrants 
from other nationalities, they seemed to think them- 
selves independent of the provincial authorities at 


New Amsterdam. The governor therefoie visited 
the place in person, and called upon all to take the 
oath of allegiance. 

There was great jealousy felt by the governor in 
reference to the encroachments of the English. 
They were pressing their claims everywhere. They 
were establishing small settlements upon territory 
undeniably belonging to the Dutch. English emi- 
grants were crowding the Dutch colonies and were 
daily gaining in influence. Though they readily 
took the oath of allegiance to the Dutch authorities, 
all their sympathies were with England and the 
English colonies. 

The Directors of the Company wrote to Stuyve- 
sant recommending him " to disentangle himself in 
the best manner possible from the Englishmen whom 
he had allowed to settle at New Amstel. And at 
all events not to admit any English besides them in 
that vicinity, much less to allure them by any means 

There were many indications that the English 
were contemplating pressing up from Virginia to the 
beautiful region of the Delaware The Directors 
urged Stuyvesant to purchase immediately from the 
Indians the tract of land between Cape Henlopen 
and Bombay Hook. This contained a frontage on 
Delaware bay of about seventy miles. 


"You will perceive," they wrote, "that speed is 
required, if for nothing else, that we may prevent 
ojher nations, and principally our English neighbors, 
as we really apprehend that thi.T identical spot has 
attracted their notice. When we reflect upon the 
insufferable proceedings of that nation not only by 
intruding themselves upon our possessions about the 
North, to which our title is indisputable, and when 
we consider the bold arrogance and faithlessness of 
those who are residing within our jurisdiction, we 
cannot expect any good from that quarter." 

In the autumn of this year a very momentous 
event occurred. Though it was but the death of 
a single individual, that individual was Oliver Crom- 
well. Under his powerful sway England had risen 
to a position of dignity and power such as the nation 
had never before attained. A terrible storm swept 
earth and sky during the night in which his tempest- 
uous earthly life came to a close. The roar of the 
hurricane appalled all minds, as amid floods of rain 
trees were torn up by the roots, and houses were 
unroofed. The friends of the renowned Protector 
said that nature was weeping and mourning in her 
loudest accents over the great loss humanity was 
experiencing in the death of its most illustrious 
benefactor. The enemies of Cromwell affirmed that 
the Prince of the Power of the Air had come with 


all his shrieking demons, to seize the soul of the 
dying and bear it to its merited doom. 

Scarce six months passed away ere the reins of 
government fell from the feeble hands of Richard, 
the eldest son and heir of Oliver Cromwell, and 
Monk marched across the Tweed and paved the 
way for the restoration of Charles the Second. 

To add to the alarm of the Dutch, Massachusetts, 
taking the ground that the boundary established by 
the treaty of Hartford, extended only "so far as 
New Haven had jurisdiction," claimed by virtue of 
royal grant all of the land north of the forty-second 
degree of latitude to the Merrimac river, and extend- 
ing from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean. The 
forty-second parallel of latitude crossed the Hudson 
near Red Hook and Saugerties. This boundary 
line transferred the whole of the upper Hudson 
and at least four-fifths of the State of New York 
to Massachusetts. 

In accordance with this claim, Massachusetts 
granted a large section of land on the east side of 
the Hudson river, opposite the present site of 
Albany, to a number of her principal merchants to 
open energetically a trade with the Indians for their 
furs. An exploring party was also sent from Hart- 
ford to sail up the North river and examine its 
shores in reference to future settlements. The 


English could not enter the Hudson and pass foit 
Amsterdam with their v essels without permission of 
the Dutch. This permission Stuyvesant persistent- 
ly refused. 

" The Dutch," said the inflexible governor, 
" never have forbidden the natives to trade with 
other nations. They prohibit such trade only on 
their own streams and purchased lands. They can- 
not grant Massachusetts or any other government 
any title to such privilege or a free passage through 
their rivers, without the surrender of their honor, 
reputation, property and blood, their bodies and 

The Esopus War. 

Ontrage at Esopus. — New Indian War. — Its Desolations. — Snnering* 
of both Parties. — Wonderful Energies of the Governor. — Difficul- 
ties of his Situation. — The Truce. — Renewal of the War. — The 
Mohawks. — The Controversy with Massachusetts. — Indian Ef- 
forts for Peace. — The Final Settlement. — Claims of the English 
upon the Delaware. — Renewed Persecution of the Quakers. 

The exploring party from Massachusetts, which 
had ascended the North river, found a region around 
the Wappinger Kill, a few miles Jaelow the present 
site of Poughkeepsie, which they pronounced to be 
more beautiful than any spot which they had seen 
in New England. Here they decided to establish 
their settlement. Stuyvesant, informed of this, re- 
solved to anticipate them. He wrote immediately 
to Holland urging the Company to send out at once 
as many Polish, Lithuanian, Prussian, Dutch and 
Flemish peasants as possible, " to form a colony 

It would seem that no experience, however 
dreadful, could dissuade individuals of the Dutch 


colonists from supplying the natives with brandy. 
At Esopus, in August, 1659, a man by the name of 
Thomas Chambers employed eight Indians to assist 
him in husking corn. At the end of their day's work 
he insanely supplied them with brandy. This led to 
a midnight carouse in which the poor savages, be- 
reft of reason, howled and shrieked and fired their 
muskets, though without getting into any quarrel 
among themselves. 

The uproar alarmed the garrison in the block- 
house. The sergeant of the guard was sent out, 
with a few soldiers, to ascertain the cause of the dis- 
order. He returned with the report that it was 
only the revelry of a band of drunken savages. 

One of the soldiers in the fort, Jansen Stot, call- 
ed upon some of his comrades to follow him. Ensign 
Smith, who was in command, forbade them to go. 
In defiance of his orders they left the fort, and 
creeping through the underbrush, wantonly took de- 
liberate aim, discharged a volley of bullets upon the 
inebriated savages, who were harming nobody but 
themselves. One was killed outright. Others were 
severely wounded. The soldiers, having perform- 
ed this insane act, retreated, with the utmost 
speed to the fort. There never has been any denial 
that such were the facts in the case. They help to 
corroborate the remark of Mr. Moulton that " the 


cruelty of the Indians towards the whites will, when 
traced, be discovered, in almost every case, to have 
been provoked by oppression or aggression." 

Ensign Smith, finding that he could no longer 
control his soldiers, indignantly resolved to return 
down the river to New Amsterdam. The inhabi- 
tants of Esopus were greatly alarmed. It was well 
known that the savages would not allow such an 
outrage to pas.s unavenged. The withdrawal of the 
soldiers would leave them at the mercy of those so 
justly exasperated. To prevent this the people 
hired every boat in the neighborhood. Ensign Smith 
then decided to send an express by land, to inform 
Governor Stuyvesant of the alarming state of affairs 
and to solicit his immediate presence. 

A party of soldiers was sent to escort the express 
a few miles down the river banks. As these sol- 
diers were returning, they fell into an ambuscade of 
the Indians, and thirteen of them were taken prison- 
ers. War, horrible war, was now declared. The 
war-whoop resounded around the stockade at Eso- 
pus from five hundred savage throats. Every house, 
barn and corn-stack within their reach was burned. 
Cattle and horses were killed. The fort was so 
closely invested day and night that not a colonist 
could step outside of the stockade. The Indians, 
foiled in all their attempts to set fire to the fortress, 


burnt ten of their prisoners at the stake. For three 
weeks this fierce warfare continued without inter 

When the tidings of this new war, caused by so 
dastardly an outrage, reached Manhattan, it created 
a terrible panic. It could not be doubted that all 
the Indians would sympathize with their outraged 
brethren. The farmers, apprehending immediate 
attack, fled from all directions, with their families, to 
the fort, abandoning their homes, grain and cattle. 
Even many villages on Long Island were utterly 

The administrative energies of Governoi Stuyve- 
sant were remarkably developed on this occasion. 
In the following terms, Mr. O'Callaghan, in his 
admirable history of New Netherland, describes the 
difficulties he encountered and his mode of sur- 
mounting them : 

" Governor Stuyvesant, though laboring under 
severe indisposition, visited in person all the adjoin- 
ing villages, encouraging the well-disposed, stimulat 
ing the timid and urging the farmers everywhere t( 
fortify ant defend their villages. He summoned 
next the burgomasters, schepens,* and oncers of 
the militia of New Amsterdam, and laid before them 
the distressing situation of Esopus. They proposed 
• Officers of a very important muni ipal court. 


to enlist by beat of drum, a sufficient number of 
men, and to encourage volunteers by resolving that 
whatever savages might be captured should be 
declared ' good prizes.' 

" Stuyvesant, however, was opposed to this mode 
of proceeding. It would cause, in his opinion, too 
great a delay, as those at Esopus were already 
besieged some nine or ten days. He was left, not- 
withstanding, in a minority. Two more days were 
thus irretrievably lost ; for at the end of that t'me 
only six or eight had enlisted, ' such a terrible horror 
had overpowered the citizens.' 

" Captain Newton and Lieutenant Stillwell were 
now dispatched to all the English and Dutch villa- 
ges, and letters were addressed to fort Orange and 
Rensselaerswyck, ordering out the Company's ser- 
vants, calling for volunteers and authorizing the 
raising of a troop of mounted rangers. The half- 
dozen servants in fort Amsterdam, every person 
belonging to the artillery, all the clerks in the public 
offices, four of the Director-General's servants, three 
of the hands belonging to his brewery and five or 
six new comers, were put under requisition. 

Nothing could overcome the reluctance of the 

burghers. The one disheartened the other; the 

more violent maintaining that they were obliged to 

defend only their own homes, and that no citizen 



could be forced to jeopardize his life in fighting bar- 
barous savages. 

" Discouraged and almost deprived of hope by 
this opposition, the Director-General again sum- 
moned the city magistrates. He informed them that 
he had now some forty men, and that he expected 
between twenty and thirty Englishmen from the 
adjoining villages. He therefore ordered that the 
three companies of the city militia be paraded next 
day in his presence, armed and equipped, in order 
that one last effort might be made to obtain volun- 
teers. If he should then fail of success, he an- 
nounced his intention to make a draft. 

" The companies paraded before the fort on the 
following morning according to orders. Stuyvesant 
addressed them in most exciting terms. He ap- 
pealed to their sense both of honor and of duty, and 
represented to them how ardently they would look 
for aid, if they unfortunately were placed in a situa- 
tion similar to that in which their brethren of Esopus 
now found themselves. He concluded his harangue 
by calling upon all such as would accompany him 
either for pay or as volunteers, to step forward to 
the rescue. 

" Few came forward, only twenty-four or twenty- 
five persons. This number being considered insuffi- 
cient, lots were immediately ordered to be drawn by 


one of the companies and those on whom they fell 
were warned to be ready on the next Sunday, on 
pain of paying fifty guilders. ' However,' said the 
governor, ' if any person is weak-hearted or dis- 
couraged he may procure a substitute provided he 
declares himself instantaneously.' " 

In this way the governor raised a force of one 
hundred and eighty men. Of this number one hun- 
dred were drafted men, sixty-five volunteers, twenty- 
five of whom were Englishmen, and there were also 
twenty friendly Indians from Long Island. 

With this force the governor embarked on Sun- 
day evening, October loth, after the second sermon, 
for the rescue of Esopus. Upon his arrival at that 
place he found that the savages, unable to penetrate 
the fort, had raised the siege and retired beyond the 
possibility of pursuit. They had doubtless watched 
the river with their scouts, who informed them 
of the approach of the troops. The governor, 
leaving a sufficient force to protect the village, 
returned with the remainder of the expedition to 

During the siege the loss of the Dutch was one 
man killed and five or six wounded. The Indians 
also succeeded, by means of burning arrows, in firing 
one dwelling house and several stacks of corn within 
the palisades. As the troops were re-embarking the 


governor witnessed an occurrence which he declares 
" he blushes to mention." As all the troops could 
not go on board at once, a portion waited until the 
first division had embarked. Some of the sentinels 
hearing a dog bark, fired one or two shots. This 
created a terrible panic. The citizens, whose ears 
had been pierced by the shrieks of their countrymen, 
whom the Indians had tortured at the stake, were 
so terror-stricken that they lost all self-possession. 
•■ Many of them threw themselves into the water 
before they had seen an enemy." 

The most friendly relations existed between the 
Mohawks and the settlers in the vicinity of Albany. 
A very extensive trade, equally lucrative to both 
parties, was there in operation. The Indians, being 
treated justly, were as harmless as lambs. When 
they heard of the troubles at Esopus they declared 
that they would take no part in the war. They 
could not but feel that the Indians had been deeply 
outraged. But with unexpected intelligence they 
decided that they would not retaliate by wreaking 
vengeance upon their long-tried friends. To con- 
firm their friendly alliance, the authorities at fort 
Orange sent an embassy of twenty-five of their 
principal inhabitants to the Indian settlement at 
Caughnawaga. This was about forty miles west ot 
Albany on the north bank of the Mohawk river and 


near the site of the present shire town of Mont- 
gomery county. 

A large number of chiefs, from all the neighbor- 
ing villages, attended. The council fire was light- 
ed, and the calumet of peace was smoked. One of 
the Dutch delegation thus addressed the assembly! 

" Brothers, sixteen years have now passed away, 
since friendship and fraternity were first established 
between you and the Hollanders. Since then we 
have been bound to each other by an iron chain. 
That chain has never been broken by us or by you. 
We hope that the Mohawks will remain our broth- 
ers for all time. 

" Our chiefs are very angry that the Dutch will 
sell brandy to your people. They have always for- 
bidden them to do so. Forbid your people also. 
Eighteen days ago you asked us not to sell any 
brandy to your people. Brothers, if your people do 
not come to buy brandy of us, we shall not sell any 
to them. Two days ago twenty or thirty kegs 
came to us, all to be filled with brandy. Are you 
willing that we should take from your people their 
brandy and their kegs. If so, say this before all 
here present." 

With this speech there was presented to the 
chiefs several bu.idles of wampum, seventy pounds 
of powder, a hundred pounds of lead, fifteen tjces 


two beavers worth of knives. The chiefs were 
highly pleased with the presents and eagerly gave 
their consent that the Dutch should seize the liquor 
kegs of the Indians. 

The authorities at fort Orange, having secured 
the friendship of the Mohawks, endeavored to obtain 
an armistice with the Indians at Esopus, and a re- 
lease of the captives they had taken. Several Mo- 
hawk and Mohegan chiefs, as mediators, visited 
Esopus, on this mission of mercy. They were par- 
tially successful. An armistice was reluctantly as- 
sented to, and two captives were liberated. The 
Indians, however, still retained a number of chil- 
dren, they having killed all the adults. Those who 
had agreed to the armistice were not the principal 
chiefs, and the spirit of the war remained unbroken. 

Under these circumstances Stuyvesant wrote to 
Holland for aid. In his letter he said, " If a farmer 
cannot plough, sow or reap, in a newly settled 
country, without being harassed ; if the citizens and 
merchants cannot freely navigate the streams and 
rivers, they will doubtless leave the country and 
seek a residence in some place where they can find 
a government to protect them." 

The Directors wrote back urging him to employ 
the Mohawks and other friendly tribes against the 
Esopus Indians The governor replied, 


" The Mohawks are, above all other savages, a 
vain-glorious, proud and bold tribe. If their aid 
be demanded and obtained, and success follow, 
they will only become the more inflated, and we 
the more contemptible in the eyes of the other 
tribes. If we did not then reward their services, iu 
a manner satisfactory to their greedy appetites, 
they would incessantly revile us, and were this 
retorted, it might lead to collision. It is therefore 
safer to stand o;i our own feet as long as pos- 

The governor had a long controversy with the 
Massachusetts authorities in reference to its claim 
to the upper valley of the Hudson. In this he ex- 
pressed very strongly the title of Holland to the 
North river. 

" Printed histories," he writes, "archives, journals, 
and registers prove that the North river of New 
Netherland was discovered in the year 1609, by 
Hendrick Hudson, captain of the Half Moon, in the 
service and at the expense of the Dutch East India 
Company. Upon the report of the captain several 
merchants of Amsterdam sent another ship, in the 
following year, up the said river. These merchants 
obtained from the States-General a charter to navi- 
gate the same. For their security they erected in 
1614, a fort on Castle Island, near fort Orange, 


New Netherland, including the North river, was af- 
terwards offered to the West India Company, who, 
in the year 1624, two years before Charles I. as- 
cended the throne of England, actually and effectu- 
ally possessed and fortified the country and planted 
colonies therein. The assertion that the Hudson 
river is within the Massachusetts patent granted but 
thirty-two years ago, therefore, scarcely deserves a 
serious answer." 

Notwithstanding the undeniable strength of his 
argument. Governor Stuyvesant felt very uneasy 
To his friends he said, 

" The power of New England overbalances ours 
tenfold. To protest against their usurpatWHB^would 
be folly. They would only laugh at us." 

As hostilities still continued with the Esopus 
Indians, Governor Stuyvesant again visited that post, 
hoping to obtain an interview with the chiefs, and 
to arrange a peace. Ensign Smith, with a very 
strong party of forty men, had utterly routed and 
put to flight two bands of Indians, one containing 
fifty warriors, the other one hundred. He took 
twelve warriors prisoners. They were sent to fort 
Amsterdam. In the mean time Stuyvesant had 
succeeded in renewing a treaty of alliance with the 
Indian tribes on Long Island, Staten Island, and at 
Hackensack, Haverstraw and Weckquaesgeek. The 


Long Island Indians consented to send some of their 
children to fort Amsterdam to be educated. 

The Esopus Indians were now left in a very de- 
plorable condition. Their brethren, on the upper 
1 (udson, had refused to co-operate with them. 
Their routed bands were being driven across the 
mountains and many of their warriors were captives. 
To use the contemptuous language of the times, 
" they did nothing now but bawl (or peace, peace." 

There had never been a more favorable oppor- 
tunity to secure a lasting peace, and to win back the 
affections of the Indians. By universal admission 
the colonists were outrageously in the wrong in pro- 
voking the conflict. They had given the Indians 
brandy until they had become intoxicated. And 
then half a dozen drunken soldiers had discharged 
a volley of bullets upon them as they were revelhng 
in noisy but harmless orgies. 

Had the governor frankly acknowledged that the 
colonists were in the wrong ; had he made full 
amends, according to the Indian custom, for the 
great injury inflicted upon them, they would have 
b^en more than satisfied. Even more friendly rela- 
tions than had ever before existed might have been 

But instead of this the governor assumed that 
the Indians were entirely in the wrong ; that they 


had wantonly commenced a series of murders and 
burnings without any provocation. The Esopus 
chiefs were afraid to meet the angry governor with 
proposals for peace. They therefore employed three 
Mohegan chiefs as their mediators. They offered 
to cease all hostilities, to abandon the Esopus coun- 
try entirely, and surrender it to the Dutch if the 
Indian captives, whom the Dutch held, might be re- 
stored to them. These very honorable proposals 
were rejected. The Mohegan chiefs were told that 
the governor could not enter into any treaty of 
peace with the Esopus Indians unless their own 
chiefs came to fort Amsterdam to hold a council. 
And immediately the Indian captives received the 
awful doom of consignment to life-long slavery with 
the negroes, upon a tropical island, which was but 
a glowing sandbank in the Caribbean sea. 

" On the next day," writes Mr. O'Callaghan, " an 
order was issued, banishing the Esopus savages, some 
fifteen or twenty, to the insalubrious climate of 
Curajoa, to be employed there or at Buenaire with 
the negroes in the Company's service. Two or three 
others were retained at fort Amsterdam to be pun 
ished as it should be thought proper. By this harsh 
policy Stuyvesant laid the foundations of another 
Esopus war, for the Indians never forgot theit 
banished brethren." 


It was ascertained that several miles up the 
Esopus creek the Indians were planting corn. It 
was the 20th of May, 1660. Ensign Smith took a 
party of seventy-five men and advanced upon them. 
The barking of dogs announced his approach just as 
his band arrived within sight of the wigwams. 
They all made good their retreat with the exception 
of one, the oldest and best of their chiefs. His 
name was Preumaker. We know not whether pride 
of character or infirmity prevented his escape. It is 
said, however, that he received the soldiers very 
haughtily, aiming his gun at them and saying, 
"What are you doing here, you dogs?" 

The weapon was easily wrenched from his feeble 
hands. A consultation was held as to what should 
be done with the courageous but powerless old chief. 
"As it was a considerable distance to carry him," 
writes Ensign Smith, "we struck him down with 
his own axe." 

At length the sufferings of the Esopus Indians 
became so great from the burning of the villages 
and the trampling down of their cornfields, the loss 
of their armies and the terrified flight of their starv- 
ing women and children, that they were constrained 
to make another effort for peace. 

On the nth of July, Governor Stuyvesant left 
New Amsterdam for Esopus. Messengers were dis 


patched to summon the Esopus chiefs to his 
presence. Appalled by the fate of their brethren, 
who had been sent as slaves to the West Indies, they 
were afraid to come. After waiting several days the 
governor sent envoys to the chiefs of other tribes, 
urging them " to bring the Esopus savages to terms." 

At length four Esopus chiefs appeared before the 
gate of the village. Delegates from other tribes 
also appeared, and a grand council was held. It is 
very evident from this interview, that many of the 
more delicate feelings of the civilized man had full 
sway in the hearts of these poor Indians. Instead 
of imploring peace themselves, the Esopus Indians 
employed two chiefs, one of the Mohawk and the 
other of the Mingua tribe, to make the proposition 
in their behalf. 

Governor Stuyvesant assented to peace upon 
condition that the Mohawks and the Minguas would 
stand as security for the faithful observance of the 
terms exacted. The chiefs of these tribes agreeing 
to this, in a formal speech admonished the Esopus 
chiefs to live with the Dutch as brothers. And 
then, turning to the Dutch, in a speech equally 
impressive, they warned them not to irritate the 
Indians by unjust treatment. The Indians were 
compelled to yield to such terms as Stuyvesant pio 


All the lands of Esopus were surrendered to the 
Dutch. The starving Indians were to receive eight 
hundred schepels of corn as ransom for the captive 
christians. The Indian warriors sent as slaves to the 
West Indies, were to be left to their awful fate. 
The mediators were held responsible for the faithful 
execution of the treaty. Should the Esopus Indians 
break it, the mediators were bound to assist the 
Dutch in punishing them. No spirituous liquors 
were to he drank ne^r the houses of the Dutch. No 
armed Indians to approach a Dutch plantation. 
Murderers were to be mutually surrendered, and 
damages reciprocally paid for. 

Thus were the Esopus Indians driven from their 
homes, deprived of their independence and virtually 
ruined. Having thus triumphantly though cruelly 
settled this difficulty, Stuyvesant went up to fort 
Orange, where he held another grand council with 
the chiefs of all the tribes in those regions. 

A clergyman was sent to Esopus and a church 
organized of sixteen members. In September, 1660, 
Domine Selyus was installed as the clergyman of 
Brooklyn, where he found one elder, two deacons aiid 
twenty-four church members. There were, at that 
time thirty-one families in Brooklyn, containing a 
population of one hundred and thirty-four persons. 
They had no church but worshipped in a barn. Gov- 


ernor Stuyvesant contributed nearly eighty dollars 
annuaHy to the support of this minister, but upon 
condition that he should preach every Sunday after- 
noon, at his farm or bouwery upon Manhattan Isl- 

The last of May, Charles the Stcond, the fugitive 
King of England, was returning from his wanderings 
on the continent to ascend the throne of his ances- 
tors. He was a weak man, of imperturbable good 
nature. On his way to London he stopped at the 
Hague, where he was magnificently entertained. Ir 
taking leave of the States-General he was lavish of 
his expressions of friendship. He declared that he 
should feel jealous should the Dutch prefer the 
friendship of any other state to that of Great Brit- 

At that time Holland was in commercial entei- 
prise, the most prosperous nation upon the globe ; 
decidedly in advance of England. The British par- 
liament envied Holland her commercial supremacy. 
" The Convention Parliament," writes Mr. Brodhead, 
"which had called home the king, took early steps to 
render still more obnoxious one of England's most 
selfish measures. The Navigation Act of 165 1 was 
revised ; and it was now enacted that after the first 
day of December, i66o, no merchandise should be 
imported into, or exported from any of his majesty'* 


plantations or territories in Asia, Africa or America, 
except in English vessels of which the master and 
three-fourths of the mariners at least are English.'' 

Immediately after this, Lord Baltimore demand- 
ed the surrender of New Amstel and all the lands 
on the west side of Delaware bay. " All the coun- 
try," it was said by his envoy, " up to the fortieth 
degree, was granted to Lord Baltimore. The grant 
has been confirmed by the king and sanctioned by 
parliament. You are weak, we are strong, you had 
better yield at once." 

A very earnest and prolonged discussion ensued. 
The Dutch Company said, " We hold our rights by 
the States-General. We are resolved to defend 
those rights. If Lord Baltimore will persevere and 
resort to violent measures, we shall use all the means 
which God and nature have given us to protect the 
inhabitants and preserve their possessions." 

This was indeed an alarming state of affairs for 
New Amstel. Various disasters had befallen the 
colony, so that it now numbered but thirty families. 
The garrison had been reduced, by desertion, to 
twenty-five men ; and of these but eight or ten were 
in the principal fort. The English were in such 
strength upon the Chesapeake, that they could easi- 
ly send five hundred men to the Delaware. Very 
earnest diplomatic intercourse was opened between 


the States-General and the British Parliament upon 
these questions. 

Governor Stuyvesant, whose attention had been 
somewhat engrossed by the Indian difficulties, now 
renewed his persecution of the Quakers. Notwith- 
standing the law against private conventicles, Henry 
Townsend at Rustdorp, who had been already twice 
fined, persisted in holding private meetings in his 
house. He was arrested with two others, and car- 
ried to fort Amsterdam. Townsend and Tilton 
were banished from the colony. Two magistrates 
were appointed as spies to inform of any future 
meetings, and some soldiers were stationed in the 
village to suppress them. Whatever Governor Stuy- 
vesant undertook to do he accomplished very thor- 
oughly. The following paper was drawn up which 
the inhabitants were required to sign : 

'' If any meetings or conventicles of Quakers 
shall be held in this town of Rustdorp, that we 
know of, we will give information to the authority 
set up by the governor, and we will also give the 
authorities of the town such assistance against any 
such persons as needs may require." 

A few refused to sign this paper. They were 
punished by having the soldiers quartered upon 

Fort Orange was, at this time, the extreme fron- 


tier post, in the north and west of New Netherland. 
Though the country along the Mohawk river had 
been explored for a considerable distance, there were 
no settlements there, though one or two huts had 
been reared in the vicinity of the Cohoes Falls. 
This whole region had abounded with beavers 
and wild deer. But the fur trade had been pushed 
with so much vigor that the country was now almost 
entirely destitute of peltries. - The colonists wished 
to purchase the fertile lands in the valley of the Mo- 
hawk, and the Indians manifested a willingness to 
tell them. 

Tlu Disastrous Year. 

Parchase of Staten Island. — The Restoration c*^ Charles Seconi?.-* 
Emigrtaion Invited. — Settlement of Bushwick. — The Pecjliar 
People. — Persecution of John Brown. — The Governor Rebuked. 
— Cumulation of Disasters. — The Outbreak at Esopus. — The 
Panic. — Measures of the Governor. — The Indian Fort. — The 
expedition to Mamaket. — Capture of the Fort. — Annihilation of 
the Esupus Indians. 

In the year 1661, the Company purchased of 
Melyn, the patroon, for about five hundred dollars, 
all his rights to lands on Staten Island. Thus the 
whole island became the property of the Company. 
Grants of lands were immediately issued to individ- 
uals. The Waldenses, and the Huguenots from 
Rochelle in France, were invited to settle upon the 
island. A block-house was built which was armed 
with two cannon ahd garrisoned by ten soldiers. 
Fourteen families were soon gathered in a little 
settlement south of the Narrows. 

Upon the restoration of Charles the Second, in 
England, the Royalists and churchmen insisted upon 
the restoration of the hierarchy. The Restoration 


was far from being the unanimous act of the nation. 
The republicans and dissenters, disappointed and 
persecuted, were disposed in ever increasing num- 
bers, to take refuge in the New World. The West 
India Company of Holland being in possession of 
a vast territory, between the Hudson and the Dela- 
ware, which was quite uninhabited, save by a few 
tribes of Indians, availed themselves of this oppor- 
tunity to endeavor to draw emigrants from all parts 
of Europe, and especially from England, to form 
settlements upon their lands. 

They issued proclamations inviting settlers and 
offering them large inducements. The country, 
which embraced mainly what is now New Jersey, 
was described in glowing terms as if it were a second 
Eden. And yet there was no gross exaggeration in 
the narrative. 

" This land," they wrote, " is but six weeks' sail 
from Holland. It is fertile in the extreme. The 
climate serene and temperate, is the best in the 
world. The soil is ready for the plough, and seed 
can be committed to it with scarcely any prepara- 
tion. The most valuable timber is abundant. The 
forest presents in profusion, nuts and wild fruit of 
every description. The richest furs can be obtained 
without trouble. Deer, turkeys, pigeons and almost 
every variety of wild game, are found in the woods 


And there is every encouragement for the establish- 
ment of fisheries.'' 

Having presented this view of the region, to 
which emigrants were invited, and having also an- 
nounced an exceedingly attractive charter of civil 
and religious privileges which would be granted 
them, in the following terms the invitation to emi- 
grate was urged : 

" Therefore if any of the good christians, who 
may be assured of the advantages to mankind of 
plantations in tiiese latitudes, shall be disposed to 
transport themselves to said place, they shall have 
full liberty to live in the fear of the Lord upon the 
aforesaid good conditions and shall be likewise 
courteously used. 

" We grant to all christian people of tender con- 
science, in England or elsewhere oppressed, full 
liberty to erect a colony between New England and 
Virginia in America, now within the jurisdiction of 
Peter Stuyvesant." 

Twenty-three families, most of them French, 
established a settlement on Long Island, at the place 
now called Bushwick. The village grew rapidly and 
in two years had forty men able to bear arms. 

The proclamation issued by the Company, in- 
viting emigrants to settle upon the lands between 
the Hudson and the Delaware, attracted much 


attention in Europe. CommittecF were sent to 
examine the lands which it was proposed thus to 
colonize. The region between New Amstel and 
Cape Henlopen, being quite unoccupied, attracted 
much attention. A company, the members of which 
may be truly called a peculiar people, decided to 
settle there. An extraordinary document was drawn 
up, consisting of one hundred and seventeen articles 
for the government of the association. In this 
singular agreement it is written : 

"The associates are to be either married men or 
single men twenty-four years old, who are free from 
debt. Each one is bound to obey the ordinances 
of the society and not to seek his own advancem£iit 
i*Ker -any -Other jncB^er. j!Jt> ifcrgyman is to be 
admitted into the society. Religious services are to 
be as simple as possible. Every Sunday and holiday 
the people are to assemble, sing a Psalm and listen 
to a chapter from the Bible, to be read by one of 
the members in rotation. After this another Psalm 
is to be sung. At the end of these exercises the 
court shall be opened for public business. The 
object of the association being to establish a harmo- 
nious society of persons of different religious senti- 
ments, all intractable people shall be excluded from 
it, such as those in communion with the Roman See 
nsurious Jews, English stiff-necked Quakers, Puri- 


tans, fool-hardy believers in the Millenium and 
obstinate modern pretenders to revelation." 

While the Company in Holland, were inviting 
emigrants to their territory of the New World, 
with the fullest promises of religious toleration, 
their governor, Stuyvesant, was unrelentingly per- 
secuting all who did not sustain the established 

A very quiet, thoughtful, inoffensive man, John 
Brown, an Englishman, moved from Boston to Flush- 
ing. He was a plain farmer, very retiring in his 
habits and a man of but few words. From curiosity 
he attended a Quaker meeting. His meditative 
spirit was peculiarly impressed with the simplicity of 
their worship. He invited them to his house, and 
soon joined their society. The magistrates inform- 
ed Stuyvesant that John Brown's house had be- 
come a conventicle for Quakers. Being arrested, 
he did not deny the charge, and was fined twenty- 
five pounds and threatened with banishment. 

The next week a new proclamation was issued, 
saying, " The public exercise of any religion but the 
Reformed, in houses, barns, ships, woods or fields, will 
be punished by a fine of fifty guilders ; double for the 
second offence ; and for the third quadruple with ar 
bitrary correction." 

John Brown, either unable or refusing to pay his 


fine, was taken to New Amsterdam, where he was 
imprisoned for three months. An order was then 
issued announcing his banishment. 

" For the welfare," it was written, " of the con> 
munity, and to crush as far as possible, abomi- 
nable sect who treat with contempt both the politi- 
cal magistrate, and the ministers of God's holy word, 
and who endeavor to undermine the police and reli- 
gion, John Brown is to be transported from this 
province in the first ship ready to sail, as an exam 
pie to others.'' 

He was sent to Holland in the " Gilded Fox." 
Stuyvesant wrote to the Company, " The contuma- 
cious prisoner has been banished as a terror to oth- 
ers who, if not discouraged by this example, will be 
dealt with still more severely." 

The Company in Holland, was not at all in sym- 
pathy with its intolerant governor. The exile was 
received by them respectfully. The following dis- 
patch, condemnatory of the severe measures of 
Stuyvesant, was forwarded to him : 

" Although it is our cordial desire that similar and 
other sectarians may not be found there, yet, as the 
contrary seems to be the fact, we doubt very much 
whether vigorous proceedings against them ought 
not to be discontinued ; mless indeed, you intend 
to check and destroy your population, which, in the 


youth of your existence, ought rather to be encour- 
aged by all possible means. 

" Wherefore it is our opinion that some conniv- 
ance is useful, and that at least the consciences of 
men, ought to remain free and unshackled. Let every 
one remain free so long as he is modest, irreproach- 
able in his political conduct, and so long as he does 
not offend others or oppose the government. This 
maxim of moderation has always been the guide of 
our magistrates in this city. The consequence has 
been that people have flocked from every land to 
this asylum. Tread thus in their steps and we 
doubt not you will be blessed.'' 

From this time persecution ceased in New Neth- 
erland. Either Governor Stuyvesant was convinc- 
ed by the argument in the above dispatch, or he 
was intimidated by his rebuke. After two years of 
absence John Brown returned to New Netherland, 
and it is said that the governor received him as 
though he were ashamed of what he had done. 

The year 1663 was a year of many disasters. 
Early in the year an earthquake shook severely the 
whole of New Netherland and of the adjacent re- 
gions. The melting of the snow in the spring, and 
the faUing rains caused a desolating freshet, which 
inundated all the meadow lands of the rivers, utter- 
ly destroying the crops. This calamity was follow- 


ed by the small-pox, which spread with a like rapidi- 
ty and fatality among the Europeans and the In- 
dians. Of the Iroquois Indians over a thousand 
died. In addition to these calamities came, worst 
of all, war with its indescribable horrors. 

At Esopus the hand of industry had been very 
successfully employed. Quite a crowded population 
filled the houses, within the palisades, and the rap- 
idly increasing numbers had rendered it necessary 
to commence another village, which was called 
Wildwyck, on a fertile plain at a little distance from 
the fort. Under the blessings of peace, wealth had 
increased. The church numbered sixty members. 
Most of the garrison had been withdrawn as no 
longer needed. 

But the Indians could not forget their brethren 
sent to life-long slavery at Cura^oa. It was increas- 
ingly evident that the peace, into which they had 
entered, was not cordial. It was a compulsory 
peace. An unendurable outrage had driven them 
into the war. And by the terms of peace, while 
they had been compelled to return all the captives 
they held, fifteen of their warriors were doomed to 
perpetual slavery. 

Murmurings were heard which foreboded an out- 
break. Some of the settlers became alarmed and 
communicated their fears to Governor Stuyvesant 


He sent word that he would soon visit Esopus, to 
investigate the state of affairs. The Indian chiefs, 
hearing of this, returned the message, that if he were 
coming to renew their treaty of friendship they 
should expect him to come unarmed and they 
would be happy to meet him in council, according 
to their custom, in the open field outside of the 

It was a pleasant morning of the 7th of June. 
The governor had not yet arrived. The settlers, 
thrown off their guard by the friendly message 
which the chiefs had returned, were scattered about 
in the fields engaged in their daily avocations. Be- 
tween eleven and twelve o'clock at noon, an unusual 
number of savages spread themselves through the 
villages and entered the dwellings. They were ap- 
parently, as usual, entirely unarmed, though it after- 
wards appeared that they had concealed weapons. 
They brought corn, beans, and other trifling articles 
for sale. 

Suddenly the war-whoop was uttered from one 
savage throat as a signal, and was instantly re-ech- 
oed by a hundred others. Tomahawks and knives 
and battle-axes gleamed in the air, and the work of 
extermination was instantly and energetically com- 
menced. The settlers were taken entirely by sur- 
prise. Every Indian had marked his man. Neithef 


women nor children were spared. Those who could 
not easily be captured were struck down. Many 
of the Indians speedily regained their guns which 
they had concealed in the grass. Houses were 
plundered and set on fire. 

But the colonists did not submit to their fate 
without valiant resistance. For several hours the 
most deadly battle raged. The yells of the savages, 
and the shrieks of wounded women and children, 
devoured by the flames which consumed their dwell- 
ings, were awful bej'ond any power of the pen to de- 

Roelof Swartwout was entrusted with the muni- 
cipal government at Esopus. His office of Schout 
somewhat resembled that of a mayor in one of our 
modern cities. He displayed much presence of mind 
and bravery on this occasion. Rallying a few bold 
men around him, he at length succeeded in driving 
the savages from within the palisades and in shut- 
ting the gates. Several hours of this awful conflict 
had now passed. Evening had come. Devastation, 
ruin, death surrounded them. The outer village 
was in ashes. The fields were strewn with the bod- 
ies of the dead. The half-burned corpses of women 
and children were to be seen amidst the smoking 
cinders of their former homes. 

The village within the palisades had been set on 


fire. A few houses had been burned, consuming the 
mangled remains of those who had fallen beneath 
the tomahawk and battle-axe of the Indian. Fortu- 
nately a change of the wind had saved most of the 
village from destruction. Swartwout and- his brave 
little band, protected by the palisades, were able 
through the loop-holes, to strike down any Indian, 
who should appear within reach of their bullets. 
They were now safe. 

But this awful storm of war, which had passed 
over their beautiful valley had, in three short hours 
of a summer's afternoon, converted the whole scene 
into a spectacle of almost unearthly misery. Every 
dwelling outside of the palisades was in ashes. 
Several within the enclosure were consumed, and 
the charred bodies of the dead were intermingled 
with the blackened timbers. Twenty-one of the 
settlers had been killed outright. Nine were severe- 
ly wounded. Forty-five, mostly women and chil- 
dren, were taken captive, to be carried into bondage 
more dreadful than death. 

A night of woe ensued, during which the yells 
of the savages, in their triumphal orgies dancing 
around their captives, and probably exposing some 
to the torture, fell appallingly upon the ears of the 
sleepless survivors within the gates. Was this God's 
allowed retribution for the crime of sending the 


Indians into slavery? It certainly was the conse 

The intelligence of this dreadful calamity waj 
immediately transmitted to Governor Stuyvesant at 
New Amsterdam. Through all the settlements the 
tidings spread, creating universal panic. Mothers 
and maidens turned pale as they thought of another 
Indian war. The farmers and their families, aban- 
doning everything, fled from all directions to the 
forts within their reach. Every able-bodied man 
was put to work in strengthening the defences. 

The governor promptly dispatched forty-two 
well-armed men to Esopus. Large bounties were 
offered to all who would enlist. Forty-six friendly 
Indians from Long Island offered their services and 
were accepted as auxiliaries. Ample supplies were 
forwarded to the devastated village. Scouting 
parties were sent up the river to search out the 
savages in their hiding-places. The Mohawks inter- 
posed their friendly mediation in behalf of peace, 
and succeeded in recovering and restoring to the 
Dutch several captives. 

They also informed the governor that the Indians 
had taken the remaining captives to one of their 
villages about thirty miles southwest of Esopus, and 
that they refused to release them unless the gov- 
ernor would send them rich presents and make a 


peace without any compensation for what had trans- 
pired at Esopus. It seems that the Indians regarded 
the massacre there simply as the just atonement 
which they had exacted for the enslavement of their 
brethren, and that now their rude sense of justice 
being satisfied, they were ready to enter into a solid 
peace. But the governor was not at all disposed to 
regard the matter in this light. He deemed it 
necessary, under the circumstances, that the Indians 
should feel the full weight of the white man's aveng- 
ing hand. 

Just then a woman, Mrs. Van Imbrock, who had 
succeeded in effecting her escape from the Indians, 
reached Esopus, having traversed the wilderness 
through a thousand perils. She was a woman ol 
great energy, intelligent and observing, and her 
heart was bleeding in view of the friends she had left 
behind her in captivity. She was eager to act as a 
guide to lead a war-party for the rescue of her 
friends in the retreat of the savages. She estimated 
their number at about two hundred warriors. They 
occupied a square fort, very strongly built of timber. 
And still they adopted the precaution of sending 
the prisoners every night under strong guard, to 
some distant place in the mountains. The Indians 
had a very clear appreciation of the value of thei/ 
captives as hostages. 


Governor Stuyvesant sent a force of two hundred 
and ten men, under Captain Crygier, to attack 
tliem. Forty-one of these were Indians and seven 
were negroes. They took with them two small 
cannon, with which at a safe distance, they could 
soon open a breach through the Indian ramparts, 
Ti'hich were merely bullet-proof. A garrison of about 
seventy men was left behind for the protection of 

At four o'clock in the afternoon of the 26th of 
July, this little band commenced its march through 
the trails of the wilderness, towards the setting sun. 
The path was a rugged one over high hills and 
across mountain streams. They had traversed but 
a few miles when night came on and they bivouacked 
until daybreak. The next morning" they pressed 
forward with all vigor until they were within about 
six miles of the fort. One hundred and sixteen men 
were then sent forward to attack the Indians by sur- 
prise, while the remainder prudently followed close 
after as a reserve. 

But the wary Indians, through their scouts, had 
ascertained the approach of the foe and had fled 
with their prisoners to the mountains. The Dutch 
were astonished at the strength of the fort and at the 
scientific skill with which it was constructed. The 
Indians had evidently learned not a little of military 


art from the Europeans. Three parallel rows of 
palisades enclosed a large square, with loopholes 
through which unobstructed aim could be taken at 
assailants. Within the palisades there were strong 
block-houses, provided also with loopholes, to which 
houses the warriors could retreat, as to citadels, in 
case the outer works were taken. Between the 
houses and the outworks there was a creek. The 
whole fortress would have been no disgrace to an 
European engineer. 

The party found very comfortable quarters in 
the fort for the night, and an ample supply of pro- 
visions. An Indian woman, not being aware that 
the white men were in the fort, came back for some 
article she had left behind. She was taken prisoner 
and informed her captors of the direction in which 
the Indians had fled. As it is necessary for such a 
party of two or three hundred, to keep together 
and as the trail through meadows, across streamlets 
and over mountains is narrow, it is not difficult 
having once found their track to follow it. 

It was determined, after a brief consultation, to 
pursue them. The next morning at daybreak, the 
pursuit was commenced. Twenty-five men were left 
to keep possession of the fort. After several hours 
of very fatiguing travel, they reached the spot, on a 
high mountain, where the squaw supposed that the 


Indians had established their camp. But not an 
Indian was there. They had probably left their 
spies on the path, who had informed them that the 
foe was at hand. 

The woman now said that they must have gone 
on to another stronghold they had, at the distance 
of about six miles. The march was continued 
through great difficulties. But it was fruitless. 
Not an Indian was to be found. They had another 
stronghold about twelve miles farther on. It was 
possible that they might be found there. But all 
were fatigued and discouraged, and were disposed to 
give up the hopeless chase. At one time they 
caught sight of nine savages in the distance, but 
they fled like deer. 

Captain Crygier, deeming all further attempt to 
overtake the savages hopeless, decided to return to 
the Indian fort. Having reached it, all hands en- 
gaged in the work of destruction. The savages had 
collected there a large supply of provisions for the 
approaching winter. The colonists took all they 
could carry away with them and destroyed the rest. 
They then utterly demolished the buildings and 
palisades, committing all to the flames. The works 
must have cost the Indians an immensity of labor. 
There were two hundred acres of corn, waving richly 
in the summer breeze, giving promise of an abund- 


ant harvest. All was trampled down. It was a 
fearful calamity to the wretched Indians. Probably 
not a few perished of famine the next winter. There 
was by no means a sufficient supply of game in the 
forest to meet their wants. Their main reliance 
was upon their cornfields. 

While they were engaged in this work of destruc- 
tion four savages appeared upon a hill near some of 
the colonists, and cried out to them " To-morrow we 
will come and fight you, for we must all now die of 

The next morning the colonists commenced their 
return. They showed their respect for the prowess 
of the savages, by forming their little army in strong 
military array, with the advance, the centre and the 
rear guard. At nine o'clock in the evening of Au- 
gust 1st, 1663, they reached their anxious friends at 
Esopus, without the loss of a man. 

Ere long news reached Esopus, that the savages 
were building another fort, which they called a cas- 
tle, about thirty-six miles southwest of Esopus, prob- 
ably near the present town of Mamakating, Sullivan 
county. An expedition of one hundred and twenty 
five men, under Captain Crygier, was immediately 
organized to destroy the works. A young Indian 
guided the party. Several horses were taken with 
them to bring back those who might be wounded 


At one o'clock in the afternoon of September 
third, the party set out from Esopus. A march of 
nine miles brought them to a creek, which was so 
swollen by recent rains, that they were delayed for 
several hours until they could construct a rude 
bridge across it. In the meantime the rain was fall- 
ing in torrents. It was not until four o'clock in the 
afternoon of the next day that the party effected 
its passage across the stream. They then pressed 
forward twelve miles farther and bivouacked for the 

At daybreak they were again upon the move, 
and about two o'clock in the afternoon emerged 
from the forest in view of the fort. It stood upon 
an elevated plain. Like the one we have already 
described, it consisted of a square enclosure, sur- 
rounded by two rows of strong palisades, and a 
third had already been commenced. These posts, 
pointed at the top, were firmly planted in the 
ground, and were of the thickness of a man's body, 
and rose fifteen feet into the air. 

Captain Crygier, after carefully scrutinizing the 
works, divided his force into two sections for the 
attack. He was well aware that he had a foe to en- 
counter who would fight with the utmost despera- 
tion behind his intrenchments. One party of the 
assailants crept cautiously along, beneath the covert 


of a hill, until, coming to the open plain, they were 
discovered by a squaw, who uttered a terrible cry 
which roused the whole garrison of Indians. 

A sudden onslaught was then made by both par- 
ties pouring, like an inundation, through the unfin- 
ished works into the fort. The savages, taken by 
surprise, and many of them without their arms, were 
thrown into a panic. Many of them rushed out of 
the fort, leaving their guns in the houses behind. 
The Dutch followed close upon their heels, shooting 
them, and with keen sabres cutting them down. 
Just beyond the fort there was a creek. The terri- 
fied Indians precipitated themselves into it, and by 
wading and swimming forced their way across. 
Here they attempted to rally and opened fire upon 
the pursuing Dutch. The fire was returned with 
so much vigor that the Indians were driven with loss 
from their position. The assailants soon crossed the 
creek, and the discomfited Indians, in hopeless rout, 
fled wildly into the trackless wilderness. 

In the impetuous assault the chief of the tribe, 
Papoquanchen, was slain, and fourteen of his war- 
riors with four Indian women and three children 
Twenty-two christian prisoners were recovered, and 
fourteen Indians were taken captive. The Dutch 
lost but three killed and six were wounded. The 
houses were all plundered by the victors. There 


was found in them eighty guns, and " bearskins, 
deerskins, blankets, elk hides and peltries sufficient 
to load a shallop." Forty rolls of wampum and 
twenty pounds of powder were also taken. The col- 
onists loaded themselves with such plunder as they 
could carry. The rest was destroyed. 

The return of the victors with the rescued chris- 
tian captives, gave great joy at Esopus. We regret 
to record that, on the march home, there was one 
of the Indian prisoners, an old man, who refused to 
go any farther. Captain Crygier had him led a few 
steps out of the path and shot. In unfeeling terms 
the captain writes, "We carried him a little aside 
and then gave him his last meal.'' 

The remainder of the month of September was 
employed in sending out small scouting parties, and 
in protecting the farmers while gathering their har- 
vests. Though the Esopus Indians were pretty 
thoroughly crushed by these disasters which had 
befallen them, they showed no sign of submission. 
It was estimated that not more than twenty-eight 
warriors, with fourteen women and a few children 
survived. And these were without homes and 
almost in a state of starvation. Still it was decided 
to fit out a third expedition against them to effect 
their utter overthrow. 

It was thought most probable that the dispersed 


Indians would rally again within the fort at Mama- 
kating, which had been captured and sacked but 
not as yet destroyed. It was perhaps left as a lure to 
draw the Indians to that point where they could be 
surrounded and annihilated. 

A strong well-armed party of one hundred and 
sixty-four soldiers set out on this expedition. Forty 
six of these were friendly Indians from a tribe called 
Marespincks, whose home was on Long Island- 
The soldiers were familiar with the route which they 
had so recently traversed. A weary but rapid march 
of twenty hours brought them to the scene of their 
recent victory. Not an Indian was there. All was 
silence and awful desolation. Even the colonists 
were appalled by the spectacle which opened before 
them. The Indians were so thoroughly panic 
stricken that they had not ventured back even to 
bury their dead. The decaying corpses lay scattered 
around, many of them half consumed by vultures 
and wolves. The birds and beasts, with wild cries, 
were devouring their prey. Parties were sent out 
to scour the woods. But no signs of the savages 
could be found. In fact the Esopus tribe was no 
more. It was afterwards ascertained that the 
wretched remnant had fled south and were finally 
blended and lost among the Minnisincks and othef 
■southern tribes. 


The fort was so strong that it required not a little 
labor to destroy it. It was necessary to cut down 
or dig up the palisades, which were composed of 
trunks of trees twenty feet long and eighteen inches 
in diameter. Several cornfields were found in the 
vicinity wherever an opening in the forest and fer- 
tile soil invited the labor of the indolent Indian. 
Two days were occupied in cutting down the corn, 
already beautiful in its golden ripeness, and in cast- 
ing the treasure into the creek. The palisades were 
then piled around the dwellings and in a few hours 
nothing remained of the once imposing fortress but 
smoking embers. 

This Indian fort or castle, it is said, stood on the 
banks of what is now called the Shawangunk kill, in 
the town of the same name, at the southwestern 
extremity of Ulster county. It seems as though it 
were the doom of armies on the march, ever to 
encounter floods of rain. Scarcely had the troops 
commenced their return ere the windows of heaven 
seemed to be opened and the fountains of the great 
deep to be broken up. 

At ten o'clock on the morning of the 5th of 
October, 1664, the march was commenced. The 
rain came on like that of Noah's deluge. The short 
afternoon passed away as, threading ravines and 
climbing mountains, they breasted the flood and 


the gale. The drenched host was soon enveloped 
in the gloom of a long, dark, stormy night. Weary 
and shelterless, the only couch they could find was 
the dripping sod, the only canopy, the weeping skies. 
The weeping skies ! yes, nature seemed to weep and 
mourn over the crimes of a lost race, — over man's 
inhumanity to man. It was not until the evening 
of the next day, the rain still continuing, that these 
weary soldiers reachtd their home at Esopus. 


Encroachments of the English. 

Aiiniliilation of the Esopus Tribe. — The Boundary Question.— 
Troubles on Long Island. The Dutch and English Villages. — 
Petition of the English. — Embarrassments of Governor Stuyve- 
lant. — Embassage to Hartford. — The Repulse. — Peril of New 
Netherland. — Memorial to the Fatherland. — New Outbreak on 
Long Island. — John Scott and his High-handed Measures. — 
Strengthening the Fortifications. 

All but three of the captives carried away by 
the Esopus Indians, were eventually recovered. 
The fate of those three is lost in hopeless obscurity. 
The revelations of the day of Judgment can alone 
make known their tragic doom. To them, as to 
thousands of others, this earthly life, if this be all, 
must have been an unmitigated calamity. But this 
is not all. After death cometh the j udgment. It 
will be easy for God, in the future world, to compen- 
sate his children a thousand-fold for all the ills they 
are called to suffer in this life. There is true chris- 
tian philosophy in the beautiful poetry of Bryant, 

" Oh, deem not they are blest alone 
Whose lives an even tenor keep. 
For God, who pities man, hath shown 
A blessing for the eyes that weep. 


" For God has marked each sorrowing day 
And numbered every secret tear. 
And heaven's long age of bliss shall pay 
For all his children suffer here." 

Peace was now restored by the annihilation of 
the hostile Indians. Most of the Dutch soldiers re- 
turned to New Amsterdam. Still it was deemed 
important to enlarge and strengthen the fortifica- 
tions at Esopus. 

The boundary line between the British colonies 
in New England, and the Dutch settlements in New 
Netherland, still continued in dispute. The Eng- 
lish, in numerical strength, were in the vast ascen- 
dency, and could easily overpower the Dutch. Very 
strenuous efforts had been made, by the States-Gen- 
eral, to lead the British government to accept some 
boundary line. But all was in vain. It was very 
evident that the English intended to claim the 
whole. And it was also evident that their colonies 
were increasing so rapidly that, in a short time, they 
would be able to take possession of all the territory 
so strongly that it would be hopeless for the Dutch 
to attempt any resistance. 

Governor Stuyvesant now received intelligence 
from Holland that there was no hope of any settle- 
ment being effected through the two governments, 
and that he must do everything in his power to 


strengthen the boundary hnes the Dutch claimed, 
and to enter into such friendly relations with the 
New England colonists that they should not be 
tempted to undertake any encroachments. To add 
to the governor's embarrassments very many English- 
men had taken up their residence in the Dutch set- 
tlements, particularly on Long Island. Though they 
had, of necessity, taken the oath of allegiance to the 
constituted authorities, their sympathies were with 
the New England colonists ; and they would wel- 
come any revolution which should transfer the terri- 
tory to Great Britain, and thus absolve them from 
their oaths. 

In accordance with the instructions received 
from Holland, the governor repaired to Boston to 
enter into a friendly conference with the authorities 
there. Scarcely had he left New Amsterdam, when 
an English emissary, James Christie, visited Graves- 
end, Flushing, Hempstead and Jamaica, with the 
announcement that the inhabitants of those places 
were no longer under the Dutch government, but 
that their territory was annexed to the Connecticut 
colony. This important movement took place on 
the sixth of September, 1663. 

Only about six weeks before, the Connecticut 
council, on the 20th of July, had sent Captain John 
Talcott with an armed force of eighteen soldiers, to 


that portion of New Netherland now called West- 
Chester, to declare that the inhabitants were absolv- 
ed from their allegiance to the Dutch government, 
to dismiss the old magistrates and to appoint others 
in their stead. These were high-handed meas- 
ures, apparently inexcusable. 

When John Christie reached Gravesend, he sum- 
moned the whole village together and read to them 
the dispatch. The British element was there 
strongly in the ascendency, even the magistrates 
being mainly on that side. As Christie was reading 
the treasonable document, one of the Dutch magis- 
trates, sheriff Stillwell, faithful to his oath, arrested 
him. The other magistrates ordered the arrest of 
Stillwell. His life was in danger from the passions of 
the mob. He succeeded in sending word to New 
Amsterdam of the peril of his condition. A sergeant 
and eight soldiers were dispatched, who arrested 
Christie again and held him under their guard. 

News of these agitations spread rapidly through 
the adjoining villages. It was rumored that a large 
mob was gathering to rescue Christie from the 
soldiers. Consequently, two hours after midnight, 
under protection of darkness and without the 
knowledge of the community, Christie was secretly 
removed from sheriff Stillwell's house to New Am 
sterdam. During the next day the tidings of his 


removal spread through the streets. It created 
great exasperation. At night a mob of one hundred 
and fifty men surrounded the house of sheriff Still- 
well, shouting that they would have him, dead or 

He succeeded in the darkness, in escaping 1 y 
the back door, and in finding his way to the house 
of his son-in-law. The mob broke in, ransacked his 
house in every corner, poured down their own thirsty 
throats a large quantity of brandy which they found 
there, and dispersed without committing any further 

Stillwell hastened to New Amsterdam, to enter 
his complaints there, and to seek protection. The 
other magistrates wrote, throwing all the blame 
upon him, accusing him of having acted in a violent 
manner and of causing "a great hubbub in the 
town." " We are," they wrote, " the loyal subjects 
of the Dutch government, but not of sheriff Still- 
well, who is the greatest disturber of the peace who 
ever came among us." 

The excitement was great. Threats were uttered 
of retaliation if Christie were not released. But 
the Dutch council in New Amsterdam approved of 
the conduct of its sheriff. Christie was held firmly. 
Dispatches were sent to all the towns in western 
Long Island, where there was a considerable English 


population, ordering that any seditious persons who 
should visit their settlements, should be arrested 
and sent to New Amsterdam. They then sent an 
express to Governor Stuyvesant in Boston, that he 
might bring the question of these disorderly meas- 
ures before the General Assembly there. 

But the governor could obtain no redress and no 
promises of amendment. The Massachusetts au- 
thorities would not hold themselves bound to the 
faithful observance of the treaty of 1650. They 
said that it was subject to his Majesty's approval 
and to any limitations which might be found in the 
charter granted to Connecticut. They refused to 
submit the question to any arbitrators whatever. 
The New England colonists were conscious that the 
power was in their own hands, and they were dis- 
posed to use it. 

In the meantime the English residents in the 
settlements on western Long Island were not idle. 
The following very emphatic petition was got up 
and signed by twenty-six individuals : 

" The humble petition of us the inhabitants of 
Jamaica, Middleborough and Hempstead, Long Isl- 
and, whose names are subscribed, to the honored 
General Court, to be assembled at Hartford on the 
8th of Octobec 1663, humbly showeth, 

" That forasmuch as it has pleased the all-dispos> 


ing Providence to appoint unto us our dwellings in 
these parts of the country, under the Dutch govern- 
ment, in which government we meet with several 
inconveniences, which do much to trouble us, and 
which we find very uncomfortable, and forasmuch 
as we have received information how it hath pleas- 
ed the Highest Majesty to move the heart of the 
King's Majesty to grant unto your colony such en- 
largements as comprehend the whole island, there- 
by opening a way for us, as we hope, from our pres- 
ent bondage, to such liberties and enlargements as 
your patent affords, 

" Our humble petition is that, as we are already, 
according to our best information, under the skirts of 
your patent, so you would be pleased to cast over us 
the skirts of your government and protection ; for as- 
suredly if you should leave us now, which we hope we 
have not cause to fear, our lives, comforts and estates 
will be much endangered, as woful experience makes 
manifest. For a countryman of ours, for carrying a 
message to a neighbor plantation, from some of your- 
selves, has been imprisoned for several weeks, and 
how long it will be continued we know not." 

This last sentence had reference to John Chris- 
tie. It must be admitted that this was a very mild 
way of putting the question, when it is remembered 
that he came, commissioned by the Connecticut au« 


thorities, at least so he represented it, to announce 
to the people in the Dutch settlements, that they 
were no longer under the Dutch government, but 
under that of Hartford. 

This petition was speedily followed by vigorous 
measures, which were undoubtedly countenanced, 
if not authorized, by the Connecticut authorities. 
One Richard Panton, "whose commission was his 
sword and whose power his pistol," threatened 
the people of Flatbush and other Dutch villages in 
the neighborhood, with the pillage of their property 
unless they would take the oath of allegiance to the 
Hartford government and take up arms against the 
Dutch provincial authorities. 

Such were the news which first greeted Govern- 
or Stuyvesant when he returned, not a little dis- 
pirited, from his unsuccessful mission to Boston. 
He was fully aware that he could bring forward no 
physical power which could resist the encroachments 
of his unscrupulous neighbors. He had no weapon 
to which he could resort but diplomatic skill. He 
accordingly immediately sent a deputation of four of 
his principal men to Hartford, still to make another 
attempt with the authorities there to settle the 
boundary question, " so that all further disputes 
may, for the welfare of our mutual subjects, be pre 


The commissioners sailed from New Amsterdam 
and after two days landed at Milfoid. Thence 
they took horses and rode to New Haven, where 
they passed the night. The next day they rode to 
Hartford. The road through the almost unbroken 
wilderness was rough and the journey very fatigu- 
ing. It took our fathers four days to traverse the 
space over which we can now easily pass in four 
hours. The General Assembly at Hartford appoint- 
ed three persons as a committee of conference to 
meet the delegation from New Amsterdam. A long 
negotiation followed. John Winthrop, son of Gov- 
ernor Winthrop of Massachusetts, was then governor 
of Connecticut. He seems to have been the worthy 
son of his noble sire. His sense of justice disposed 
him to respect the claims of the Dutch delegation. 
He admitted that the patent issued by the king of 
England could by no justice rob the Dutch of their 
territory, and that it was not so intended. But the 
Hartford commissioners were inexorable. " The 
opinion of the governor," they said, " is but the 
opinion of one man. The grant of the king of Eng- 
Imd includes all the land south of the Boston line 
to Virginia and to the Pacific Ocean. We do not 
know any New Netherland, unless you can show a 
patent for it from the king of England." 

" But did you not," said the Dutch delegates^ 



"agree by the treaty of 1650, that the boundary 
line on Long Island should run from the western 
part of Oyster bay straight across the island to the 
sea ; and that the land east of that line should belong 
to the English and west to the Dutch ? 

" And did you not agree that, on the mainland, 
the boundary line between the Dutch and English 
possessions should begin upon the west side of 
Greenwich bay, running twenty miles into the un- 
known interior, and that the region west of that 
should belong to the Dutch?" 

The emphatic reply to those questions was, " We 
regard that treaty as an absolute nullity — of no force. 
We shall govern ourselves entirely by the patent 
granted us by his majesty the king of England. 
The Dutch may hold as much as they now actually 
occupy. But that shall not hinder us from taking 
possession of any territory not occupied by them." 

The Dutch then proposed, by way of compromise, 
that for the present, Westchester should remain in 
possession of Connecticut, while the towns on west- 
ern Long Island should remain under the govern- 
ment of New Netherland. To this the Hartford 
commissioners replied : 

" We do not know of any province of New 
Netherland. There is a Dutch governor over a 
Dutch plantatioa on the. island of Manhattan. X-ong 


Island is included in our patent, and we shall possess 
and maintain it.'' * 

Thus repulsed at every point, the Dutch agents 
commenced their return. They bore a letter to 
Stuyvesant from the General Assembly, in which, 
withholding from him the title of governor of New 
Netherland, they discourteously addressed him 
simply as " Director General at Manhattan." 

As we have mentioned, there were many English 
settlers in the Dutch towns on the western end of 
Long Island. In some of them it is not improbable 
that the English element predominated. In the 
letter sent by the General Court to Governor Stuy- 
vesant, it was stated that Westchester and Stamford 
belonged to Connecticut ; that, for the present, the 
General Court would forbear from exercising any 
authority over the English plantations on Long 
Island ; but that, should the Dutch molest the Eng- 
lish there, the Connecticut authorities would use all 
just and lawful means for their protection. 

The situation of the Dutch province was now 
alarming in the extreme, and Governor Stuyvesant 
was environed by difficulties which no mortal saga- 
city or energy could surmount. His treasury was 
exhausted. The English settlers in the Long Island 

* See Brodhead's State of New York, vol. 1. p. 721 ; also O'Cal* 
laghan's New Netherland, vol 2. p. 489. 


villages, were in determined and open revolt. Ami 
his English neighbors, whon^ he was altogether too 
feeble to resist, were crowding upon him in the most 
merciless encroachments. 

Under these circumstances, he called a Conven- 
tion, to consist of two delegates from all the neigh- 
boring villages, to meet at New Amsterdam on the 
22d of October, 1663. Eight towns were repre- 

The Convention adopted an earnest remon- 
strance to the authorities in Holland, in which the 
disastrous situation of the province was mainly 
attributed to their withholding that aid which was 
essential to the maintenance of the colony. 

" The people of Connecticut," the remonstrance 
stated, " are enforcing their unlimited patent ac- 
cording to their own interpretation, and the total 
loss of New Netherland is threatened. The Eng- 
lish, to cloak their plans, now object that there is no 
proof, no legal commission or patent, from their 
High Mightinesses, to substantiate and justify our 
rights an^ claims to the property of this province, 
and insinuate that through the backwardness of 
their High Mightinesses to grant such a patent, you 
apparently intended to place the people here on 
slippery ice, giving them lands to which your honors 
had no right whatever," 



Governor Stuyvesant sent with this remon- 
strance a private letter to the home government, in 
which he urged that the boundary question should 
be settled by the national authorities of the two 
countries. " It is important,'' he said, " that the 
States-General should send letters to the English 
villages on Long Island, commanding them to re- 
turn to their allegiance. And that the objections 
of Connecticut may be met, the original charter of 
the West India Company should be solemnly con* 
firmed by a public act of their High Mightinesses, 
under their great seal, which an Englishman com- 
monly dotes upon like an idol." 

Scarcely were these documents dispatched when 
new and still more alarming outbreaks occurred. 
Two Englishmen, Anthony Waters of Hempstead, 
and John Coe of Middlebury, with an armed force 
of nearly one hundred men, visited most of what 
were called the English villages, convoked the peo- 
ple, told them that their country belonged to the 
king of England, and that they must no longer pay 
taxes to the Dutch. They removed the magistrates 
and appointed their own partisans in their stead. 
They then visited the Dutch towns and threatened 
them with the severest vengeance if they did not 
renounce all allegiance to the Dutch authorities, and 
take the oath of fealty to the king of England, 


Only four weeks after this, another party of 
twenty Englishnrien from Gravesend, Flushing and 
Jamaica, secretly entered Raritan river, in a sloop, 
and sailing up the river several miles, assembled the 
chiefs of some of the neighboring tribes, and endeav- 
ored to purchase of them a large extent of territory 
in that region. They knew perfectly well not only 
that they were within the bounds which had been 
the undisputed possession of New Netherland for 
nearly half a century, but that the Dutch had also 
purchased of the Indians all their title to these lands. 

Stuyvesant, being informed of this procedure, 
promptly sent Ensign Crj-gier, with an armed force, 
-n a swift sailing yacht, to find the English and 
:hwart their measures. At the same time he sent 
Hans, a friendly Indian, in whom he could repose 
confidence, to warn the sachems against selling 
over again, lands to which they no longer had any 
title. The Dutch party reached the spot where the 
Englishmen and the Indians were'in council, just in 
time to stop the sale. The Indians were shrewd 
enough to know that all they could give was a " quit 
claim " title, and they were very willing to give that 
in view of the rich remuneration which was offered 

The English thus baflSed, again took their sloop 
and sailed down the bay, to a point between Rens- 


selaer's Hook and Sandy Hook, where they were 
about to renew their endeavors when Ensign Cry- 
gier again overtook them. " You are traitors," he 
exclaimed. " You are acting against the govern- 
ment to which you have taken the oath of fidelitj-.'' 
" This whole country," they repHed, " has been given 
to the EngHsh by his Majesty the king of Eng- 

Thus the antagonistic parties separated. The 
Dutch sloop returned to New Amsterdam. The 
next day a number of sachems came to New Am- 
sterdam and sold to Governor Stuyvesant the re- 
mainder of the lands on the Raritan, which had not 
previously been transferred to the Dutch. 

One John Scott, an Englishman of turbulent 
character, and a zealous royalist, petitioned king 
Charles Second to bestow upon him the govern- 
ment of Long Island. In his petition, which was 
referred to the Council for Foreign Plantations, he 
said : 

" The Dutch have of late years, unjustly ob- 
truded upon and possessed themselves of certain 
places on the mainland of New England, and some 
islands adjacent, as in particular on Manhattan and 
Long Island, being the true and undoubted inherit- 
ance of his Majesty." 

In reply to this petition, Scott with two others, 


was appointed a committee to prepare " a statement 
of the English title to those lands ; with an account 
of the Dutch intrusion, their deportment since and 
management of that possession, their strength, trade 
and government there, and of the means to make 
them acknowledge and submit to his Majesty's gov- 
ernment or by force to expulse them.*' 

Armed with this authority, Scott came to 
America, where he was very cordially received by 
the authorities in New Haven. Connecticut in- 
vested him with the powers of a magistrate through- 
out the whole of Long Island, and Governor John 
Winthrop administered to him the oath of office. 
Scott entered vigorously upon his work of wresting 
western Long Island from the dominion of the 
Dutch, whom he denounced as " cruel and rapacious 
neighbors who were enslaving the English settlers." 

He visited most of the villages, where large 
numbers of the English resided, but found that 
there was strong opposition to being annexed to 
Connecticut. Many of them, particularly the Baf>- 
tists and the Quakers, were very unwilling to come 
under the rule of the Puritan government. 

Consequently, six of the towns, Hempstead, 
Gravesend, Flushing, Middlebury, Jamaica and 
Oyster Bay, formed a combination to govern them- 
selves independently of Connecticut, and empowered 


Scott to act as their President, until the king of 
England should establish a permanent government 
among them. Scott in his pride now unfurled an 
almost imperial banner. Placing himself at the 
head of one hundred and seventy armed men, horse 
and foot, he set out to compel the neighboring 
Dutch villages to renounce their allegiance to Hol- 
land and to subject themselves to his sway. 

He first marched upon Brooklyn. Summoning 
the citizens, he told them that the soil they occupied 
belonged to the king of England, and that he nov 
claimed it as his own, and that they were conse 
quently absolved from all further allegiance to the 
Dutch government and were required to take the 
oath of submission to the new government, now 
about to be established over them. 

Scott was accompanied by so powerful an armed 
force that the magistrates could not arrest him. 
One of them, however, Secretary Van Ruyven, 
invited him to cross the river to New Amsterdam 
and confer with the governor there. Scott replied, 
" Let Stuyvesant come here with a hundred men ; 
I will wait for him and run my sword through his 

There was no disposition manifested whatever, 
on the part of the people, to renounce the govern- 
ment of their fathers and accept of that of Scott in 



its stead. There was a little boy standing by, 
whose proud and defiant bearing arrested the atten- 
tion of Scott. He was a son of the heroic Crygier, 
of whom we have before spoken. Scott ordered 
him to take off his hat and bow to the flag of Eng- 
land. The boy refused. Scott struck him. A by- 
stander scornfully said, " If you have blows to give, 
you should strike men, not boys." 

Four of Scott's soldiers fiercely assailed the man, 
and though for a moment he defended himself with 
an axe, he was soon compelled to fly. Scott 
demanded his surrender and threatened to lay the 
town in ashes unless he were given up. He was 
not surrendered, and Scott did not venture to exe- 
cute his barbarous threat. 

From Brooklyn Scott went to Flatbush. He 
there unfurled the flag of England in front of the 
house of the sheriff. Curiosity assembled a large 
concourse to witness what was transpiring. Scott 
addressed them at much length. " He jabbered 
away,'' writes a Dutch historian, " in English, like a 

" This land," said he, " which you now occupy, 
belongs to his Majesty, king Charles. He is the 
right and lawful lord of all America, from Virginia 
to Boston. Under his government you will enjoy 
more freedom than you ever before possessed. 


Hereafter you shall pay no more taxes to the Dutch 
government, neither shall you obey Peter Stuyve- 
sant. He is no longer your governor, and you are 
not to acknowledge his authority. If you refuse to 
submit to the king of England, you know what to 

His harangue produced no effect. The Dutch 
remained unshaken in their loyalty. Some of the 
magistrates ventured to tell him that these were 
matters which he ought to settle with Governor 
StuyvQsant. He replied, 

" Stuyvesant is governor no longer. I will soon 
go to New Amsterdam, with a hundred men, and 
proclaim the supremacy of his Majesty, king Charles, 
beneath the very walls of the fort." 

The next day he went to Flatbush, where there 
was a renewal of the scenes which we have above 
described. Though the people could present no re- 
sistance, he found no voice to cheer him. The 
want of success exasperated Scott. He went to 
New Utrecht. There was a block fort there, arm- 
ed with cannon, and over which floated the Dutch 
flag. He hauled down that banner and raised in its 
stead the flag of England. Then, with Dutch can- 
non and Dutch powder, he fired a salute in honor 
of his victory. All passers-by were ordered to un- 
cover their heads and bow in submission to the 


English flag. Those who refused to do so were 
pursued by his soldiers and cruelly beaten. 

Governor Stuyvesant, upon being informed of 
these transactions, immediately sent three of his 
principal men to Long Island, to seek some arrange- 
ment with Scott for the termination of such disor- 
ders. They met him at Jamaica. After much dis- 
cussion they entered into a partial agreement, which 
was to be submitted to the approval of Governor 
Stuyvesant. As the Dutch deputies took their 
leave, Scott said to them, 

" This whole island belongs to the king of Eng- 
land. He has made a grant of it to his brother, the 
duke of York. He knows that it will yield him an 
annual revenue of one hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars. He is soon coming with an ample force, to 
take possession of his property. If it is not surren- 
dered peaceably he is determined to take, not only 
the whole island, but also the whole province of 
New Netherland." 

With these alarming tidings, the Dutch envoys 
returned to New Amsterdam. Disorders were now 
rapidly multiplying. Scott rallied around him all 
the most turbulent of the English population, and 
the Dutch towns were menaced with violence. The 
Dutch families in the English villages, were many 
of them compelled to abandon their houses, and re 


pair to the Dutch villages for protection. Frequent 
collisions occurred. There was no longer any hap- 
piness or peace to be found in these dwellings agi- 
tated by the approaching tempests of revolution. 

The inhabitants of New Amsterdam became 
greatly alarmed from fear that their rich and beau- 
tiful city would be attacked or plundered by the 
English. The burgomasters and principal men drew 
up a petition to the authorities urging additional for- 
tifications for the city and the enlistment of an in- 
creased armed force." 

In this petition they said, " this capital is adorn- 
ed with so many noble buildings, at the expense of 
so many good and faithful inhabitants, principally 
Netherlanders, that it nearly excels any other place 
in North America. Were it duly fortified it would 
instil fear into any envious neighbors. It would pro- 
tect both the East and the North rivers, the sur- 
rounding villages and farms, as well as full ten thou- 
sand inhabitants who would soon flock to this prov- 
ince, where thousands of acres of land remain wild 
and uncultivated. It would become the granary of 
fatherland. Yes, if permitted to abide in peace this 
land will become an emporium to fatherland by ita 
growing plantations." 

In accordance with this memorial, heavy taxes 
were imposed and large contributions subscribed 


to enlarge and strengthen the fortifications. A 
mihtia of two hundred men was organized, and 
one hundred and sixty were enlisted as regular 

Hostile Measures Commenced. 

John Scott and his Movements. — Losses of the Dutch. — The First 
General Assembly. — Action of the Home Government. — Peace 
with the Indians. — Arrest of John Scott. — Governor Winthrop's 
visit to Long Island. — Sailing of the Fleet. — Preparations for 
War. — The False Dispatches. — Arrival of the Fleet. — The Sum- 
mons to Surrender. 

Governor Stuyvesant, with much anxiety of 
mind, kept a vigilant eye upon the proceedings 
of John Scott, on Long Island. Some praised the 
governor for the forbearance he had exhibited 
under the provoking circumstances. Others severely 
blamed him for his course, which they pronounced 
to be cowardly and disgraceful to the nation. 

By the terms of the Convention, concluded 
between the Dutch delegates and John Scott, it was 
agreed that the English villages, on the western part 
of Long Island, should remain unmolested under 
English rule, for the space of one year, until the 
king of England and the States-General of Holland 
should have time to settle the question in dispute. 
In the meantime the English were to have free 


access to all the Dutch towns on the island, and on 
the mainland, for purposes of trade ; and the Dutch 
were to enjoy the same privilege in visiting the 
English towns. 

These terms were to be presented to Governor 
Stuyvesant for his rejection or approval. Deciding 
to ratify them he took with him an escort of ten 
men, and proceeded to Hempstead, on the third day 
of March, 1664. Here he met the President, John 
Scott, with delegates from the English towns, and 
the agreement was ratified. 

The Dutch had now lost, one after another, 
every portion of territory which the English had 
assailed. The whole valley of the Connecticut river 
had been surrendered to the English. Westchester 
was entirely in their possession. And now the 
important towns of Flushing, Jamaica, Hempstead 
and Gravesend were yielded up to them. The 
whole of Long Island was also peremptorily claimed 
by the English, with the declaration that if any 
resistance were made to their taking possession of 
it, they would seize the valley of the Hudson and 
the whole of New Netherland. 

The conjuncture was gloomy indeed. Governor 
Stuyvesant was conscious that he was utterly power- 
less. He then" decided it to be necessary to call to 
his aid popular representation. A General Assembly 


of delegates from all the towns was convoked to 
take into consideration the state of the province. 
This important meeting was held in the City Hal! 
of New Amsterdam, on the loth of April, 1664. 
Twenty-four delegates were present from twelve 

Immediately there arose an unfriendly contro- 
versy between the governor and the assembly which 
was fatal to any harmonious or efficient action. 
The assembly refused to grant the governor the 
supplies, in money or in men, which he called for, and 
adjourned for a week. In the meantime Governor 
Stuyvesant had received dispatches from Holland. 
The West India Company had acted energetically 
upon the subject urged in his memorial. They had 
presented to the States-General a very earnest peti- 

In this memorial they laid before that august 
body, a detailed account of the aggressions com- 
mitted by the English, and of the repulse with which 
the Dutch overtures for an amicable settlement had 
been met at Boston and Hartford. 

" Out of respect," said they, " to the alliance 
recently entered into with England, they had 
hitherto abstained from hostilities. But, as it now 
seemed absolutely necessary to repel aggression by 
force, they-implored such military and pecuniary aid 


as the occasion required. They also urged that, in 
conformity with Governor Stuyvesant's request, an 
act should be passed under the great seal, confirm- 
ing their original charter; and that letters might be 
sent to the revolted towns on Long Island, requiring 
them, under the severest penalties, to return to their 
allegiance. In conclusion they asked that the 
whole of the aggressions of which they complained 
might be communicated to the king of England, 
with the request that he would order his English 
subjects to restore, on the instant, the places they 
had seized, and to abstain from all further innova- 
tions, pending the negotiations for a boundary 

These requests were complied with by the 
States-General. They sent sixty soldiers to New 
Amsterdam, with orders to Governor Stuyvesant to 
resist any further encroachments of the English, and 
to reduce the revolted villages to allegiance. It 
was easy for the States-General to issue such an or- 
der, but it was not so easy for Governor Stuyvesant 
to execute it. The Assembly was immediately call- 
ed together again, and the documents from Holland 
presented to them. After much deliberation it was 
decided to be impossible, with the force at the gov- 
ernor's command, to subdue the English villages. 
In those villages it was said that the Dutch wer« 


outnumbered six to one ; and that upon the out- 
break of hostilities, the flourishing settlements on 
the Connecticut would immediately send such a 
force to Long Island, as would enable them to over- 
come and take possession of all the other villages. 

It will be remembered that the Esopus Indians 
had been completely humbled, and almost annihila- 
ted. The tribe living in the immediate vicinity of 
the village of Esopus, had been slaughtered or driven 
from their lands. The survivors had taken refuge 
with other neighboring tribes, who were more or 
less in sympathy with them. Thus while there was 
a cessation of actual war, hostility continued. No 
terms of peace had been agreed to, and there could 
be no friendly intercourse. 

News reached Governor Stuyvesant that the 
Connecticut people, in their intrigues to get posses- 
sion of New Netherland, were tampering with these 
river Indians, endeavoring to enter into a treaty of 
alliance, offensive and defensive with them. It was 
consequently deemed desirable immediately to se- 
cure a general peace with these Indians. 

The sachems of several tribes were invited to as* 
semble in the Council Chamber at fort Amsterdam. 
The governor with nine of his council, met them. 
It is worthy of special notice that, the preliminaries 
being settled, one of the Indian chiefs offered an 


earnest prayer. First he called several times, with 
a loud voice, upon the Great Spirit to hear him 
In his language Bachtamo was the name for God. 

" Oh Bachtamo," he said, " help us to make a 
good treaty with the Dutch. And may the treaty 
we are about to negotiate be like the stick I hold in 
my hand. Like this stick may it be firmly united, 
the one end to the other." 

Then turning to the governor, he said, " We all 
desire peace. I have come with my brother sa- 
chems, in behalf of the Esopus Indians, to conclude a 
peace as firm and compact as my arms, which I now 
fold together." 

Then presenting his hand to Governor Stuyve- 
sant he added, " What I now say is from the fullness 
of my heart. Such is my desire, and that of all my 

A solemn treaty was soon negotiated. It was 
signed the next day, and the event was celebrated 
by salvos of artillery. On the whole, the terms were 
fair, but rather hard for the Indians. The treaty is 
concisely given by O'Callaghan in the following 
words : 

" By its terms all that had passed was to be for- 
ever forgotten and forgiven. The land, already 
given to the Dutch as an indemnity, and now again 
conquered by the sword, the two forts belonging to 


the Indians included, became the property of the 
christians. The savages were not to return thither 
to plant, nor to visit the village, or any remote 
Dutch settlements with or without arms. But as it 
was not intended to expel them altogether from the 
country, they were permitted to plant near their 
new fort, and this year only, by their old castle, as 
they had already placed some seed in the ground 
there. But the lands, in the neighborhood of these 
forts, having been conquered, were to belong to the 

" To prevent all future collision, no savage 
should hereafter approach the place where the 
christians were ploughing, pasturing, sowing or en- 
gaged in agricultural labor. The violation of this 
article was to subject them to arrest. They might 
sell meat or maize at the Ronduit, in parties of 
three canoes at a time, but only on condition that 
they sent a flag of truce beforehand to give no- 
tice of their approach. For their accommodation, 
on such occasions, a house was to be built beyond 
the kill. 

" Should a Dutchman kill an Indian, or an In- 
dian a Dutchman, no war was to be declared. A 
complaint was to be lodged against the murderer, 
who should be hanged in the presence of both the 
contracting parties. All damages, by the kiUing of 


cattle, were to be paid for ; and this treaty was to 
be annually ratified by the Esopus Indians. The 
Hackingsack and Staten Island sachems were se- 
curity for the faithful observance of this contract ; 
.and were bound to co-operate against either the 
Esopus Indians or the Dutch, whichever might vio- 
late its terms." 

The peace thus secured gave universal satisfac- 
tion in the Dutch settlements. Governor Stuyve- 
sant devoutly proclaimed a day of general thankbr 
giving to God for the great blessing. 

It will be remembered that John Scott had 
received a commission from Connecticut, and it 
was expected that, as their agent, he would cause 
the English towns on western Long Island to be 
annexed to the Connecticut province. Instead 
of this, those towns declared themselves indepen- 
dent, and Scott allowed himself to be chosen their 
president. The Court at Hartford, upon being 
made acquainted with these facts, was very in- 
d'gnant. A proclamation was soon issued by 
the Assembly of Connecticut, charging Scott with 
various high crimes and misdemeanors, and or- 
dering his arrest. A party of soldiers was sent 
under the command of John Allyn, secretary, " to 
seize on the body of John Scott." Mr. Allyn 
returned to the Honorable Court the follow- 


ing interesting report of his procedure on the 
occasion : 

" When we came within sight of the house of 
John Scott we saw him draw forth those men 
which came from New Haven to aid him, with 
some others, unto a body. When we came up to- 
wards the house, within twenty or thirty rods there- 
of. John Scott commanded us, in his Majesty's name 
to stand, upon our peril. John Scott charged us 
in his Majesty's name, to get off from his land. 
John Scott desired to know what our business was. 

" Then it was replied, by Nathaniel Seely, that 
he desired a parley. John Scott granted a parley, 
and we met, each of us with a couple of musketeers. 
Then Nathaniel Seely told him that he had come 
to arrest him, and read the commission unto him. 
When it was read Seely demanded of him whether 
he would surrender himself according to commis- 
sion ? 

" John Scott replied that he would sacrifice his 
heart's blood on the ground, before he would yield 
to him or any of Connecticut jurisdiction. With 
that the New Haven men answered, ' So will we.' 
John Scott said, ' Stay awhile and I will fetch you a 
letter, from under Governor Winthrop's hand, which 
I do not question much will satisfy you.' So he 
went into the house and fetched it forth and read it 


before us, bearing date as he said, of March 2$, 

" It was concerning the governor's desiring him 
to meet him to end some difference in the Narragan- 
sett country about a tract of land. John Scott 
said, ' If you will return to your body, I will fetch 
a commission under his Majesty's hand, which shall 
command you all.' Whereupon he made a flourish 
and said that he would go down unto the face of the 
company and read it, and he would see if the proud- 
est of them all dared to lay hands upon him. ' Let 
them,' said he, ' take me if they dare.' 

" Then he came down to the head of the com 
pany, and read the commission, which he said had 
the seal manual upon it. Whereupon he renewed 
his challenge that he would see if the proudest of 
them all dared to lay hands upon him. Then 
Nathaniel Seely arrested him in his Majesty's name 
to go with him according to law." 

Scott was taken to Hartford and thrown into 
jail, where, it is said, he experienced much harsh 
usage. Soon after this Governor John Winthrop, 
from Hartford, visited the English Long Island 
towns, removed the officers appointed by Scott, and 
installed others who would be devoted to the inter- 
ests of Connecticut. 

Governor Stuyvesant being informed of his pres- 


ence, immediately crossed the East river to Long 
Island, to meet the Connecticut governor, who was 
thus encroaching upon the Dutch domains. He 
uiged upon Governor Winthrop the claims of Hol- 
land upon New Netherland, by the apparently 
indubitable title of discover).-, purchase and posses- 
sion, as well as by the clearly defined obligations of 
the Hartford treaty of 1650. It will be remembered 
that by that treaty it was expressly agreed that, 

" Upon Long Island a line run from the western- 
most part of Oyster Bay, in a straight and direct 
line to the sea, shall be the bounds between th' 
English and the Dutch there ; the easterly part tc 
belong to the English, the westernmost part to tlu 

But here was Governor Winthrop, in total dis- 
regard of this treaty, inany miles west of this line, 
endeavoring to wrest sevtral towns from the Dutch 
dominion, and to annex tbem to the Connecticut 
colony. All Governor Stuj-vesant's arguments were 
unavailing. Governor Wii;throp paid no heed to 
them. He knew very wf.ll that the Dutch governor 
liad no military power ■wiCh which to enforce his 
claims. Governor Winthiop *-he.-t<'ore contented 
himself with simply dcclarin^^ th^t the whole of 
Long Island belonged to the kjn^ of Ui.feljtt<J. 

" AH Governor Stuy\'esant could '*<iiKi.\. ' «-ntes 


O'Callaghan, " was of no avail. The country was 
the king's, the people his subjects. When priority 
of title from the Indians was invoked, those from 
whom the Dutch purchased were, it was replied, 
not the right owners and had no right to sell. But 
when deeds which the English held from natives, 
happened to be older than those of their opponents, 
then the title could not be gainsayed. All must be 
received without contradiction. 

" The truth is, the Directors in Holland were 
mistaken in their reliance upon Winthrop's friend- 
ship. He now manifested the greatest hostility to 
the Dutch, and was the head and front of all the 
opposition they experienced. He was no doubt 
well-advised of the designs of the Duke of York, 
and of his brother the king of England, which were 
about to develop themselves against this province." 

While New Netherland was thus fearfully men- 
aced by England, the internal affairs of the province 
were in a state of prosperity. The rich soil was 
producing abundant harvests and farms were extend- 
ing in all directions. Emigrants were continually 
arriving and were delighted with their new homes. 
The population of the province now amounted to 
full ten thousand. New Amsterdam was a flourish- 
ing city, containing fifteen hundred inhabitants. 

This prosperity excited both the jealousy and 


the covetousness of the British court. The king 
resolved, by one bold blow, to rob Hollana of all her 
American possessions. On the 12th of March, 1664, 
the king of England granted to his brother James, 
the Duke of York, the whole of Long Island, all 
the islands in its neighborhood, and all the lands 
and rivers from the west side of Connecticut river 
to the east side of Delaware Bay. This sweeping 
grant included the whole of New Nctherland. 
This was emphatically expelling the Dutch from the 
New World. 

The first intimation Governor Stuyvesant re- 
ceived of this alarming movement came to him 
from Boston. A young man, named Ford, brought 
the tidings to New Amsterdam that a fleet of armed 
ships had sailed from the naval depot in Portsmouth, 
England, to enter the Hudson river and take posses- 
sion of the whole territory. This intelligence created 
not a little panic. The governor summoned his 
council, and it was decided to exert every energy 
in fortifying the city. The hostile fleet might make 
its appearance any day. 

Money was raised. Powder was ordered from 
the forts on the Delaware. Agents were sent to 
New Haven to purchase provisions. As it was 
expected that the fleet would come through the 
Sound, agents were stationed along the shore, to 


transmit the tidings of its approach, so soon as the 
sails should be seen in the distant horizon. Several 
vessels on the point of sailing with supplies to 
Curajoa were detained. 

So secretly had the British government moved 
in this enterprise, that the governmental authorities, 
in Holland, had not the slightest suspicion of the 
peril to which their colony in New Netherland was 
exposed. At the moment when all was agitation 
in New Amsterdam, and every hand was busy pre- 
paring for the defence, Governor Stuyvesant received 
dispatches from Holland, assuring him that no ap- 
prehension of danger from England need be enter- 

" The king of England," it was said, " is only 
desirous of reducing his colonies to uniformity in 
Church and State. With this view he has dispatched 
some commissioners with two or three frigates, to 
New England, to introduce Episcopacy in that 

It was supposed in Holland, that this intolerant 
policy would strengthen the Dutch interests in 
America; that the religious freedom, which the 
States-General insisted upon, would invite to New 
Netherland from all the countries of Europe, those 
who were not willing to conform to thg doctrine? 
and ritual of the Church of England, 


Governor Stuyvesant, upon receiving these dis- 
patches from the home government, felt relieved of 
all anxiety. He had no doubt that the previous 
rumor which had reached him was false. Neither 
he nor his council anticipated any difficulty. The 
whole community indulged in the sense of security. 
The work on the fortifications was stopped ; the 
vessels sailed to Cura§oa, and the governor went 
up the river to fort Orange. A desolating war 
had broken out between the Indian tribes there, 
which raged with such ferocity that the colonists 
were full of alarm for their own lives and prop- 

But the English fleet was rapidly approaching. 
It consisted of four frigates, containing in all an 
armament of ninety-four guns. This was a force to 
which defenceless New Amsterdam could present no 

The fleet put into Boston the latter part of July, 
and the commissioners applied to both Massachu- 
setts and Connecticut for aid in their military expe- 
dition against the Dutch. But the Puritans of 
Massachusetts found innumerable obstacles in the 
way of rendering any assistance. They feared that 
the king of England, having reduced the Dutch, 
would be induced to extend his arbitrary sway, both 
civil and religious, over those colonists who were 


exiles from their native land, simply that they might 
enjoy freedom to worship God. 

Connecticut, however, hoped that the conquest of 
New Netherland might annex the magnificent do- 
main to their own region. Governor Winthrop, of 
Hartford, manifested so much alacrity in the cause, 
that he was invited to meet the British squadron, 
at the west end of Long Island, to which point it 
would sail with the first fair wind. 

Colonel Richard Nicholls was in command of the 
expedition. Three commissioners were associated 
with him. They had received instructions to visit 
the several New England colonies, and to require 
them, " to join and assist vigorously in reducing 
the Dutch to subjection." The Duke of York, soon 
after the departure of the squadron, conveyed to 
Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret all the terri- 
tory between the Hudson and Delaware rivers, from 
Cape May north to forty-one degrees and forty 
minutes of latitude, " hereafter to be called Nova 
Caesarea or New Jersey." 

A friend of Governor Stuyvesant, in Boston, sent 
word to New Amsterdam of the arri\al of the fleet 
and its destination. An express was instantly dis- 
patched to Albany to recall the Governor. He hur- 
ried back to the capitol, much chagrined by the 
thought that he had lost three weeks. Every able 


bodied man was immediately summoned to work at 
the city defences, " with spade, shovel and wheel- 
barrow." This working party was divided into three 
classes, one of which was to labor every day. A 
permanent guard was organized. The brewers were 
forbidden to malt any more grain, that it all might 
be reserved for food. Six pieces of cannon were 
added to the fourteen already mounted. The gar- 
rison at Esopus was summoned to the defence. 

About the 20th of August, the English squad- 
ron anchored in Nyack Bay, just below the Narrows, 
between New Utrecht and Coney Island. A stiict 
blockade of the river was established. All commu- 
nication between Long Island and Manhattan was 
cut off. Several vessels were captured. Upon 
Staten Island, about three miles from where the 
frigates rode at anchor, there was a small fort, a 
block-house, about twenty feet square. It had 
been constructed for defence against the savages. 
For its armament it had two small guns, carrying 
one pound balls, and a garrison of six old invalid 
soldiers. A part/ was sent on shore, in the boats, 
which captured the fort and also a lot of cattle. 

The next morning, which was Saturday, Colonel 
NichoUs sent a delegation of four men up to fort 
Amsterdam, with a summons for the surrender of 
' the town situated on the island commonly known 


by the name of Manhattoes, with all the forts there- 
unto belonging." At the same time proclamations 
were scattered abroad, forbidding the farmers from 
furnishing any supplies to the Dutch garrison, under 
penalty of having their houses fired. All the inhab- 
itants of the surrounding villages, who would quiet- 
ly submit to his Britannic Majesty, were promised 
the safe possession of their property. Those who 
should otherwise demean themselves were threaten- 
ed with all the miseries of war. 

Governor Stuyvesant had but one hundred sol- 
diers in garrison. He could not place much reliance 
upon the aid of undisciplined citizens. Still his 
brave spirit was disposed to present a desperate 
resistance. He called his council together, but 
was unwilling to have the people know the nature 
of the summons, lest they should clamor for a sur- 

But the citizens held a meeting, voted in favor 
of non-resistance, and demanded an authentic copy 
of the communication, which had been received from 
the commander of the English fleet. They adjourn- 
ed to meet on Monday morning to receive the re- 
ply. Governor Stuyvesant was greatly distressed. 
After the Sabbath he went to the meeting in per- 
son, and endeavored to convince those present of 
the impropriety of their demands. But the citizens, 


trembling in view of the bombardment of the town, 
were in no mood to listen to his persuasions. 

It was not needful for the English to be in any 
hurry. The prey was entirely within their grasf. 
It will be remembered that Governor Winthrop of 
Hartford, had joined the expedition. Colonel Nich- 
oUs addressed a letter to Governor Winthrop, re- 
questing him to visit the city under a flag of truce, 
and communicate the contents to Governor Stuy- 
vesant. The Dutch governor came out of the fort 
to receive the letter, and then returned into the fort 
to read it. The following was the letter : 

" Mr. Winthrop : — 

" As to those particulars you spoke to me, I do assure you that if 
the Manhadoes be delivered up to his Majesty, I shall not hinder but 
any people from the Netherlands may freely come and plant there 
or thereabouts. And such vessels of their own country, may freely 
come thither. And any of them may as freely return home, in 
vessels of their own country; and this and much more is contained 
in the privilege of his Majesty's English subjects. This much you 
may, by what means you please, assure the governor from. Sir, your af- 
fectionate servant, 

Richard Nicholls." 

August 22, 1664. O. S. 

The Council demanded that this letter should 
be exhibited to the people. The governor refused, 
Baying that it would be quite unfavorable to the de- 
fence to communicate such intelligence to the inhab- 
itants. As the council persisted, the governor, in a 


passion, tore up the letter and trampled it beneath, 
his feet. The rumor spread rapidly that a flag of 
truce had come. 

The citizens collected in a large and excited 
gathering, and sent a delegation of three persons to 
demand of the governor the communication which 
he had received from the hostile fleet. Threats 
were uttered. Curses were heard. Resistance was 
declared to be madness. The universal voice clam- 
ored for the letter. The community was upon the 
eve of mutiny. 

At length Stuyvesant yielded. A copy of the 
letter was made out from the fragments, and it was 
read to the people. This increased their disposition 
to capitulate. Still the indomitable governor could 
not endure the thought of surrendering the majestic 
province of New Netherland to a force of four frig- 
ates. He regarded the movement, on the part of 
the English, as an atrocious act of highway robbery. 
But he was well aware that there was no escape 
from the sacrifice. 

In the night he sent a vessel, " silently through 
Ilell Gate," to the Directors in Holland, with the 
following laconic dispatch. " Long Island is gone 
and lost. The capitol cannot hold out long." 
When a man's heart is broken his words are few. 

Much of the night the governor spent in draw- 



ing up a strong remonstrance, in answer to the mes- 
sage of Colonel Nicholls. All the argument was 
with the Dutch. All the force was with the Eng- 
lish. But when argument and force come into col- 
lision in this wicked world, argument must general- 
ly yield. 

In the very able manifesto of the governor, he 
traced the history of the country from the earliest 
period to the present time. He deduced the title 
of the Dutch, to the territory, from the three great 
principles of Discovery, Settlement, and Purchase 
from the Indians. He severely denounced the pre- 
tence, now put forth by the English, that his, " Bri- 
tannic Majesty had an indisputable right to all the 
lands in the north parts of America." Courteously 
he added that he was confident that if his Majesty 
had been well informed in the premises, his high 
sense of justice would have dissuaded him from au- 
thorizing the present hostile demonstration. In 
conclusion he said, 

" In case you will act by force of arms, we protest 
before God and man, that you will perform an act 
of unjust violence. You will violate the articles of 
peace solemnly ratified by his Majesty of England, 
and my Lords the States-General. Again for the 
prevention of the spilling of innocent blood, not only 
here but in Europe, we offer you a treaty by ouf 


deputies. As regards your threats we have no an- 
swer to make, only that we fear nothing but what 
God may lay upon us. All things are at His dispo- 
sal, and we can be preserved by Him with small 
forces as well as by a great army." 

The Capture of New Amsterdam. 

The ApprJach of the Fleet. — The Governor Unjustly Censured. — The 
Flag of Truce. — The Haughty Response. — The Remonstrance. — 
The Defenceless City. — The Surrender. — The Expedition to the 
Delaware. — Sack and Plunder. — Change of Name. — Testimony 
to the Dutch Government. — Death of the Governor. — His farm, 
or Bouwerie. — War Between Holland and England. — New York 
Menaced by the Dutch. 

The only response which Colonel NichoUs 
deigned to make to the remonstrance of Governor 
Stuyvesant, was to put his fleet in motion. A party 
of soldiers, infantry and cavalry, was landed on Long 
Island, and they advanced rapidly through the 
forest, to the little cluster of huts which were 
scattered along the silent and solitary shores of 
Brooklyn. These troops were generally volunteers 
from Connecticut and from the English settlements 
on Long Island. 

The fleet then ascended through the Narrows, 
and two of the frigates disembarked a number of 
regular troops just below Brooklyn, to support the 
volunteers. Two of the frigates, one mounting 


thirty-six guns, and the other thirty, coming up 
under full sail, passed directly within range of the 
guns of the fort, and cast anchor between the fort 
and Nutten or Governor's Island. 

Stuyvesant stood at one of the angles of the fort- 
ress as the frigates passed by. It was a critical 
moment. The fate of the city and the lives of its 
inhabitants trembled in the balance. The guns 
were loaded and shotted, and the gunners stood by 
with their burning matches. A word from the im- 
petuous Stuyvesant would have opened upon the 
city all the horrors of a bombardment. There were 
but about twenty guns in the fort. There were 
sixty-six in the two frigates, whose portholes 
were opened upon the city ; and there were two 
other frigates just at hand, prepared to bring twenty- 
eight guns more into the fray. 

As Governor Stuyvesant stood at that point, 
burning with indignation, with the word to fire 
almost upon his lips, the two clergymen of the place, 
Messrs. Megapolensis and son, came up and en- 
treated him not to be the first to shed blood in a 
hopeless conflict. Their persuasions induced the 
governor to leave the rampart, and intrusting the 
defence of the fort to fifty men, to take the remain- 
der of the garrison, one hundred in number, to repel 
if possible, the English, should they attempt a land- 


ing. The governor still cherished a faint hope that 
some accommodation could yet be agreed upon. 

The Directors in Holland subsequently, with 
great severity and, as we think, with great injustice, 
censured Governor Stuyvesant for his conduct on 
this occasion. The whole population of the little 
city was but fifteen hundred. Of them not more 
than two hundred and fifty were able to bear arms, 
in addition to the one hundred and fifty regular 
troops in garrison. And yet the Directors in Hol- 
land wrote, in the following cruel terms, to the 
heroic governor : 

" It is an act which can never be justified, that a 
Director General should stand between the gabions, 
while the hostile frigates pass the fort, and the 
mouths of twenty pieces of cannon, and yet give 
no orders to prevent it. It is unpardonable that he 
should lend his ear to preachers, and other chicken- 
hearted persons, demeaning himself as if he were 
willing to fire, and yet to allow himself to be led in 
from the bulwark between the preachers. When 
the frigates had sailed past, he became so troubled 
that he must then first go out to prevent their land- 
ing. The excuse, that it was resolved not to begin 
hostilities, is very poor, for the English had com- 
mitted every hostile act." 

The governor immediately sent to Colonel 


Nicholls a flag of truce conveyed by four of the 
most distinguished officers of State. Through them 
lie said : 

" I feel obhged to defend the city, in obedience 
to orders. It is inevitable that much blood will be 
shed on the occurrence of the assault. Cannot some 
accommodation yet be agreed upon ? Friends will 
be welcome if they come in a friendly manner." 

The laconic, decisive and insulting response of 
Colonel Nicholls was : " I have nothing to do but 
to execute my mission. To accomplish that I hope 
to have further conversation with you on the mor- 
row, at the Manhattans. You say that friends will 
be welcome, if they come in a friendly manner. I 
shall come with ships and soldiers. And he will be 
bold indeed who will dare to come on board my 
ships, to demand an answer or to solicit terms. 
What then is to be done ? Hoist the white flag 
of surrender, and then something may be consid 

When this imperious message became known it 
created the greatest consternation throughout the 
city. Men, women and children flocked to the 
governor, and, with tears in their eyes, implored 
him to submit. A brief bombardment would cause 
the death of hundreds, and would lay the city in 
ashes. " I had rather,'' the governor replied, " be 


carried a corpse to my grave, than to surrender the 

The civic authority, the clergy and the com- 
manders of the Burgher corps, promptly assembled 
in the City Hall and drew up the following earnest 
remonstrance, which was immediately presented to 
the governor and his council. We give it slightly 

" Right Honorable ! We, your sorrowful sub- 
jects, beg to represent, in these sad circumstances, 
that having maturely weighed what was necessary 
to be done, we cannot foresee, for this fort and city 
of Manhattans, in further resistance, aught else than 
misery, sorrow, and conflagration ; the dishonor of 
women, the murder of children, and in a word the 
absolute ruin of fifteen hundred innocent souls, only 
two hundred and fifty of whom are capable of bear- 
ing arms. 

"You are aware that four of the English king's 
frigates are now in the roadstead, with six hundred 
soldiers on board. They have also commissions 
to all the governors of New England, a populous 
and thickly inhabited country, to impress troops, in 
addition to the forces already on board, for the pur- 
pose of reducing New Netherland to his Majesty's 

"These threats we would not have regarded, 
could we expect the smallest aid. But, God help 
us, where shall we turn for assistance, to the north 

3(j6 peter stuyvesant. 

or to the south, to the east or to the west ? 'Tis 
all in vain. On all sides we are encompassed and 
hemmed in by our enemies. If, on the other 
hand, we examine our internal strength, alas! it is so 
feeble and impotent that unless we ascribe t>e cir- 
cumstance to the mercy of God, we cannot sufficient 
ly express our astonishment that the foe should 
have granted us so long a reprieve. He could 
have delivered us a prey to the soldiery after one 

" We shall now examine your Honors' fortress. 
You know that it is incapable of making head three 
days, against so powerful an enemy. Even could 
it hold out one, two, three, four, five or six months, 
which to our sorrow it cannot do, it is still undenia- 
ble that it cannot save the smallest portion of our 
entire city, our property and what is dearer to us, our 
wives and children, from total ruin. And after con- 
siderable bloodshed the fort itself could not be pre- 

" Wherefore, to prevent the aforesaid misfor- 
tunes, we humbly, and in bitterness of heart, implore 
your Honors not to reject the conditions of so gen- 
erous a foe, but to be pleased to meet him in the 
speediest, best and most reputable manner. Other- 
wise, which God forbid, we are obliged to protest 
before God and the world ; and to call down upon 
your Honors the vengeance of Heaven for all the 
innocent blood which shall be shed in consequence 
of your Honors' obstinacy ; inasmuch as the commis- 
sioners have this day informed us that the English 


general has stated that he shall not wait any long- 
er than this day. 

" We trust your Honors will not question that to 
God, who seeks not the death of the sinner, belongs 
obedience rather than to man. We feel certain 
that your Honors will exhibit yourselves, in this 
pressing exigency and sorrowful season, as men and 
christians, and conclude with God's help, an honor- 
able and reasonable capitulation. May the Lord 
our God be pleased to grant this to us, Amen " 

The above memorial was signed by ninety-four 
of the most prominent citizens of New Amsterdam 
One of these signers was the governor's son. All 
our readers will perceive that the situation of the 
governor had become one of extreme difficulty. A 
fleet and army of great strength for the time and 
the occasion were before him. This force held in 
reserve the whole military power of New England. 
The civic officers and citizens of New Amsterdam, 
headed by the governor's own son, were loud in 
their remonstrance against any defence, and were 
almost in a state of mutiny. 

The condition of the city was such that the idea 
of standing a siege was not for a moment to be 
thought of Along the banks of the North and 
East rivers, the village, for the little cluster of three 
hundred houses was but a village, was entirely 


exposed. Upon the land side, running from river to 
river, there was a slight fence composed of old and 
decayed palisades, which scores of years before had 
been a protection against the savages. In front of 
this fence there were the remains of a storm-washed 
breastwork, about three feet high and two feet wide. 
The crumbling fort was pronounced by all to be 
untenable. It was originally constructed as a retreat 
from the savages, who could only assail it with 
arrows and hatchets and a few musket balls. It was 
surrounded by an earthen rampart, about ten feet 
high and three or four feet thick. In all, there were 
twenty-four cannons within the enclosure, which 
was unprotected by any ditch or palisades. In the 
rear, where the throngs of Broadway now press 
along, there was a series of forest-crowned eminences 
whose solitary summits were threaded by an Indian 
trail. These hills commanded the fort. From their 
crests the soles of the feet, it was said, of those 
walking in the squares within, could be seen. There 
were not five hundred pounds of powder in store fit 
for use. The gunners declared that a few hours of 
fighting would exhaust it all. The stock of provis- 
ions was equally low, and there was not a well of 
water within the fort. 

.It is probable that the majority of common sol- 
diers, in almost any regular army, is composed of 


dissolute worthless men. There are but few persons 
but the lost and the reckless who will enlist to spend 
their days in shouldering a musket. A young man 
of good character can do better than convert himself 
into a part of such a military machine. The garri- 
son at New Amsterdam was composed of the off- 
scouring of Europe. They were ready to fight 
under any banner which would pay them. They 
were eager for the conflict with the English. At 
the first volley they would throw aside their guns 
and join the English in the plunder. One of them 
was heard saying to an applauding group : 

" Now we hope for a chance to pepper these 
devilish Dutch traders. They have salted us too 
long. We know where their booty is stored. And 
we know also where the young girls live who wear 
gold chains." 

Under these circumstances the governor was 
compelled to yield. He appointed six commission- 
ers to confer with the same number of the English. 
The parties met at Governor Stuyvesant's residence 
on his farm or bouwerie, at eight o'clock in the 
morning of August 27th. The terms were speedily 
settled, for the English would enforce any demands 
which they were disposed to make. There were 
twenty-three articles of agreement, entering into 
many details. The substance was that New Nether- 


land passed over entirely to the English. The 
Dutch retained their property. If any chose to 
leave the country they could do so. The ships of 
the Dutch merchants could, for the six months next 
ensuing, trade freely with the Netherlands, as here- 
tofore. The people were to be allowed liberty of 
conscience in divine worship and church discipline. 
No Dutchman should be impressed to serve in war 
against any nation whatever. All the inferior civil 
officers were allowed to continue in office until 
the next election, when they would be required to 
take the oath of allegiance to the king of Eng- 

The next day was Sunday. These articles were 
therefore not ratified until eight o'clock Monday 
morning. It was agreed that within two hours 
after the ratification, " the fort and town called New 
Amsterdam, upon the island of Manhatoes,'' should 
be delivered up. The military officers of the fort, 
and the soldiers were to be permitted to march from 
their intrenchments with their arms, drums beating 
and colors flying. 

Colonel Nicholls took possession of the govern- 
ment. He changed the name of the city from New 
Amsterdam to New York, in honor of the Duke of 
York, the brother of the King of England. The fort 
was called fort James. Colonel Nicholls became 


the deputy governor for James, the Duke of York, 
in administering the affairs of the extended realms 
which the British government had thus perfidiously 
seized. We regret to say, but history will bear us 
out in the assertion, that there is no government 
in Christendom whose annals are sullied with so 
many acts of unmitigated villany as the government 
of Great Britain. 

Colonel Nicholls immediately sent an armed 
force up the river, to take possession of fort Orange ; 
and another to the Delaware, to unfurl the English 
flag over New Amstel. The name of fort Orange 
was changed to fort Albany, the second title of the 
Duke of York. Three frigates were sent to the 
Delaware. The severest punishment was denounc- 
ed against the Dutch and Swedes there, should they 
make any resistance. The same terms were offered 
them which were granted to the people at New 

The command of this expedition was entrusted 
to Sir Robert Carr. Notwithstanding the sacred 
stipulations into which Carr had entered, he tram- 
pled them all beneath his feet. Governor Stuyve- 
sant writes, 

" At New Amstel, on the South river, notwith- 
standing they offered no resistance, but demanded 
good treatment, which however they did not obtain, 


they were invaded, stript bare, plundered, and many 
of them sold as slaves in Virginia.'' 

This testimony is corroborated by a London 
document, which says, " From the city and the in- 
habitants thereabout were taken one hundred sheep, 
thirty or forty horses, fifty or sixty cows and oxen, 
between sixty and seventy negroes, the brew-house 
still-house and all the material thereunto belonging. 
The produce of the land, such as corn, hay, etc., was 
also seized for the king's use, together with the 
cargo that was unsold, and the bills of what had 
been disposed of, to the value of four thousand 
pounds sterling. 

" The Dutch soldiers were taken prisoners, and 
given up to the merchant-man that was there, in 
payment for his services ; and they were transport- 
ed into Virginia to be sold. All sorts of tools for 
handicraft tradesmen, and all plough gear, and 
other things to cultivate the ground, which were in 
store in great quantity, were likewise seized, togeth- 
er with a sawmill ready to set up, and nine sea 
buoys with their iron chains. 

" Even the inoffensive Menonists, though thor- 
oughly non-combatant from principle, did not es- 
cape the sack and plunder to which the whole 
river was subjected by Carr and his co-maraud- 
ers. A boat was dispatched to their settlement, 


which was stripped of everything, even to a very 

At New Amsterdam, Colonel Nicholls paid more 
respect to the terms of the treaty. Citizens, resid- 
ing there, were not robbed of their private prop- 
erty. But the gentlemen of the West India Com- 
pany, in Holland, found all their property merciless- 
ly confiscated. Colonel Nicholls seized on every- 
thing upon which he could lay his hand. He seem- 
ed anxious to eradicate every vestige of the former 
power. This property was sold at auction that it 
might thus be distributed among a large number of 
individual owners. The Colonel shrewdly imagined 
that he might thus in( crest all these persons in the 
maintenance of the now power. 

History has but on'i voice, and that of the 
severest condemnation, jn reference to these transac- 
tions on the part o' thv' English government. Mr. 
O'Callaghan writes : 

" Thus was fitly consummat.°d an act of spoliation 
which, in a period of profound peace^ wrested this 
province from the rightful owners, by violating all 
public justice and infringing ail public law. The 
cnl}- additional outrage that rom.Miod was to im- 
pose on the country the name cf cr.t iinknown in 
history, save as a bigot and a tyrant , J.t enemy of 
religious and political freedom whefixc-- h« rul- 


ed. New Netherland was accordingly called New 

Hon. Benjamin F. Butler, in his outline of the 
State of New York writes, " In the history of the 
royal ingrates by whom it was planned and for 
whose benefit it was perpetrated, there are few acts 
more base, none more characteristic.'' 

Mr. Brodhead, in his admirable History of the 
State of New York, says, " The flag of England was, 
at length, triumphantly displayed where for half a 
century that of Holland had triumphantly waved ; 
and from Virginia to Canada, the king of Great 
Britain was acknowledged as sovereign. Whatever 
may have been its ultimate consequences, this 
treacherous and violent seizure of the territory and 
possessions of an unsuspecting ally, was no less a 
breach of private justice than of public faith. It 
may indeed be affirmed that, among all the acts of 
selfish perfidy which royal ingratitude conceived 
and executed, there have been few more character- 
istic and none more base." 

Thus the Dutch dominion in North America 
passed forever away. I cannot refrain from quoting 
the just tribute to the Dutch government contained 
in Mr. Brodhead's History. " Holland," he writes, 
" has long been the theme for the ridicule of British 
writers ; and even in this country the character and 


manners of the Dutch have been made the subjects 
of an unworthy depreciation. Yet, without under- 
valuing others, it may confidently be claimed that, 
to no nation in the world is the Republic of the 
West more indebted than to the United Provinces, 
for the idea of the confederation of sovereign 
States ; for noble principles of constitutional free- 
dom ; for magnanimous sentiments of religious toler- 
ation ; for characteristic sympathy with subjects of 
oppression ; for liberal doctrines in trade and com- 
merce ; for illustrious patterns of public integrity 
and private virtue, and for generous and timely aid 
in the establishment of independence. Nowhere 
among the people of the United States can men be 
found excelling in honesty, industry, courtesy or 
accomplishment, the posterity of the early Dutch 
settlers of New Netherland." 

Soon after the surrender, Governor Stuyvesant 
was recalled to Europe to vindicate his conduct. 
The severest charges were brought against him. 
He addressed to the States-General an " Account of 
the Circumstances preceding the surrender of New 
Netherland." It was a triumphant vindication of 
his conduct. But the unfortunate are rarely treated 
with justice. The pride of Holland was deeply 
touched by the loss of its North American posses- 
sions. Governor Stuyvesant soon returned to New 


York, and lived in much seclusion in his spacious 
house on his farm, until he died, in the year 1672. 
The governor's remains were entombed at his 
chapel in the Bouwery, novi^ St. Mark's Church. 

There v/ere two roads which led from the fort at 
the Battery, to the northern part of the island. 
One of these followed along the present line of 
Broadway to what is now the Park, which was at 
that time a large unenclosed open field far out of 
town called the Common. The road then wound 
along by the southeastern side of the common and 
by the line of Chatham street and the Bouwery out 
to Harlaem. This became eventually the ''Old 
Post Road" to Boston. Governor Stuyvesant's 
Bouwery consisted of many acres of land. The 
farm embraced the land in the region of Third avenue 
and Thirteenth street. In the spring of 1647, a pear 
tree was planted upon this spot, which was long 
known as " Stuyvesant's pear tree.'' For more than 
two centuries it continued to bear fruit. In its lat- 
ter years, this venerable relic of the past was 
cherished with the utmost care. It presented many 
touching indications of its extreme old age. In its 
two hundred and twentieth year it bloomed for 
the last time. " Since the fall of the tree," writes 
Mr. Stone, " a promising shoot from the ancient 
stock has taken its place, and shows a hardy vigor 


which may yet enable it to rival its progenitor in 

In the year 1665, the year which followed the 
capture of the city, war broke out between England 
and Holland. It was then generally expected that 
the States of Holland would make an attempt to re- 
cover the lost territory of New Netherland. It was 
rumored that De Ruyter, one of the Dutch Admi- 
rals, had actually set sail, with a large squadron, for 
New York. The rumor caused great commotion 
in the city. The national spirit of the Dutch resi- 
dents was roused to intensity. De Ruyter had in- 
deed sailed with the object of recapturing the prov 

Colonel Nicholls was a man of great energy. He 
immediately commenced with all vigor, the work of 
repairing the crumbling fortifications, and of erect- 
ing new ones. But he found none to co-operate 
heartily with him, save the few English soldiers, 
whose bayonets held the conquered province in sub- 
jection. A meeting of all the Dutch inhabitants 
was called to ascertain the tone of public sentiment, 
and to endeavor to inspire the community with 
some enthusiasm for the defence. 

But no enthusiasm was elicited. The Dutch 
were not at all unwilling that their countrymen 
should come back and reclaim their own. Even to 


defend the.Tiselves from the humiliation oT con- 
quest, by their English assailants, they had not 
been willing to submit to a bombardment. Much 
less were they now willing to subject themselves 
to the horrors of war, when the flag of Holland was 
approaching for their deliverance. They did not 
venture however, openly to oppose the ruler whom 
the fortunes of war had set over them, or to express 
sympathy for the success of the approaching fleet, 
which might be pronounced treason, and might ex- 
pose them to severe punishment. 

They contented themselves with manifesting en- 
tire indifference, or in offering sundry excuses. 
They very sensibly assumed the ground that they 
were a feeble defenceless colony, far away in the 
wilderness, entirely unable to cope with the forces 
which the great maritime powers of England or Hol- 
land might send against them. When an English 
fleet opened the portholes of its broadsides upon 
their little village, they could do nothing but sur- 
render. Should a fleet from Holland now anchor in 
their waters they must let events take their natural 

Cokvnel NichoUs, as governor, had gifts of honor 
and opuknce in his hands. As was to have been 
expected, there were a few Dutch citizens who were 
•wger to gi-^tify the governor by co-operating with 


'tim in all his plans. This number, however, was 
small. The great mass of the citizens assumed an 
air of indifference, while, in heart, they longed for 
the appearance of the Dutch fleet in such strength 
as to render resistance impossible. 

But either the storms of the ocean, or some 
other engagements, arrested the progress of the 
squadron, until after the rupture between England 
and Holland was temporarily healed. Colonel Nich- 
olls remained in command at New York about four 
years. His administration was as popular as could 
reasonably have been expected under the circum- 
stances. He gradually relaxed the severity of his 
rule, and wisely endeavored to promote the prosper- 
ity of the colony. The conquest had retarded the 
tide of emigration from Holland, and had given a 
new impulse to that from England. The Dutch 
gradually became reconciled to his rule. They en- 
joyed all the rights and immunities which were con- 
ferred upon any of the subjects of England in her 
American colonies. Out of respect to the governor 
they organized two militia companies, the officers 
of which were from the most distinguished of the 
Dutch citizens, and they received their commissions 
from him. 

In August of 1668, Colonel Nicholls, at his own 
request, was recalled, and he returned to Englmd. 


The Dutch did not love him, for they never could 
forget the circumstances under which he had con- 
quered their province. But he had won their re- 
spect. As he embarked for the shores of England 
the great body of the citizens complimented him 
by a respectful leave-taking. 

Colonel Nicholls was succeeded in the govern- 
ment of the province, by Colonel Francis Lovelace. 
He was an English officer of respectable abilities, 
and of worthy character. Under his sway. New 
York for five years, until 1673, enjoyed prosperity 
and peace. New agitations then took place. 

The peace, of which we have spoken, between 
England and Holland, was of but transient duration. 
In 1672 war was again declared by England. The 
conflict which ensued was mainly upon the ocean. 
New York had so grown since its conquest by the 
English, and could so easily be reinforced by 
almost any number of men from populous New Eng- 
land, that the Dutch did not think that there was 
any chance of their then being able to regain the 
colony. They, however, fitted out a fleet of five 
ships, to cruise along the coast of North America, 
destroy the English, and inflict such injury upon 
any and all of the English colonies as might be in 
their power. 

Governor Lovelace had no idea that any Dutch 


ships would venture through the Narrows. He 
made no special effort to strengthen the defences 
of New York. Early in February he went to West- 
chester county, to visit at the residence of his 
friend Mr. Pell. This was quite a journey in those 
days. The command of the fort was entrusted, 
during his absence to Captain John Manning. 

A vessel entered the port, bringing the intelli- 
gence that a Dutch fleet had been seen off the coast 
of Virginia, sailing in the direction of New York. 
This created great commotion. A dispatch was 
sent, in the utmost haste, to the governor, summon- 
ing his return. He promptly mustered, for the de- 
fence, all the forces he could raise in the city and 
neighboring counties, and soon five hundred armed 
men were parading the streets of New York. 

It proved a false dream. No enemy appeared. 
The troops were disbanded. They returned to their 
homes. The community was lulled into a very 
false sense of security. In July, the governor again 
was absent, on a visit to Connecticut. On the 29th 
of July the Dutch fleet appeared at Sandy Hook, 
and, learning from some of the inhabitants of Long 
Island, whose sympathies were still cordially with 
tlie fatherland, that the city was entirely defenceless 
and could easily be taken, ventured to try the ex- 
periment. They had not approached the bay with 


any such design. They had supposed their force 
entirely inadequate for so important a capture. The 
fleet quietly sailed up the bay and, as the English 
fleet had done but a few years before, anchored op- 
posite the Battery, and turned their broadsides to- 
wards the city. 

Colonel Manning sent a hurried despatch to the 
governor, who could by no possibility return for sev- 
eral days, and fluttered about in the attempt to 
beat up recruits. But no recruits were forthcom- 
ing. The sight of the flag of Holland, again tri- 
umphantly floating in the harbor, was joyful to 
many eyes. 

The great majority of the people, in the city and 
in the country, were of Dutch descent. Consequent- 
ly the recruiting parties which were raised, were in 
no mood to peril their lives in defence of the flag o' 
England. Indeed it is said that one party of the 
recruits marched to the Battery and deliberately 
spiked several of the guns, opposite the City-hall. 

It was a most singular revolution of the wheel 
of fortune. Captain Manning had but fifty soldiers 
within the fort. None of these were willing to fight. 
One-half of them were such raw recruits that cap- 
tain Manning said that they had never put their 
heads over the ramparts. A few broadsides from 
the Dutch fleet would dismount every gun in the 


fort, and put to flight all the defenders who should 
survive the volley. This was alike obvious to the 
assailants and the assailed. 

The Final Surrender. 

The Summons. — The Bombardment. — Disembarkation of the Land 
Force. — Indecision of Captain Manning. — The Surrender.— 
Short Administration of the Dutch. — Social Customs. — The Tea 
Party.— Testimony of Travellers. — Visit to Long Island. — 
Fruitfulness of the Country. — Exploration of Manhattan Isl- 

The Dutch ships, having anchored and prepared 
themselves for the immediate opening of the bom- 
bardment, a boat was sent on shore with a flag of 
truce, to demand the surrender of the city. At the 
same time a boat was sent by Colonel Manning, 
from the fort to the ships. The boats passed each 
other without any interchange of words. Colonel 
Manning's boat bore simply the message to the 
Dutch Admirals, " Why do you come in such a hos- 
tile manner to disturb his Majesty's subjects in this 
place ? " As England and Holland were then en. 
gaged in open war, one would hardly think that such 
an inquiry was then called for. When Colonel 
Nicholls came to New Amsterdam with his English 
fleet, the two nations were in friendly alliance. 


Such a question then would have been very appro- 

The boat from the Dutch fleet bore a flag of 
truce at its stern, and was accompanied by a trum- 
peter, who asked for the English officer in command 
and presented the following message to Colonel 
Manning : 

"The force of war, now lying in your sight, is 
sent by the High and Mighty States-General and 
his serene Highness the Prince of Orange, for the 
purpose of destroying their enemies. We have sent 
you therefore, this letter, together with our trum- 
peter, to the end that, upon the sight hereof, you 
surrender unto us the fort called James, promising 
good quarter ; or by your refusal we shall be obliged 
to proceed, both by land and water, in such manner 
as we shall find to be most advantageous for the 
High and Mighty States." 

Captain Manning returned an answer simply 
acknowledging the receipt of the message, and 
informing the Dutch Admirals that he had already 
dispatched officers to communicate with him. He 
promised upon the return of those messengers to 
give a definite reply to his summons. 

The Dutch Admirals, Benckes and Evertson, 
were not disposed to waste any time in parleying. 
They probably remembered the circumstances under 


which the province of New Netherland had been 
wrested from them by its present possessois, and 
they rejoiced that the hour of retribution had thus 
unexpectedly come. 

They therefore sent back word that their bat- 
teries were loaded and shotted and ready to open 
fire ; that one half hour and one half hour only, 
would be granted for deliberation ; that immediately 
upon the arrival of the boat at the fort the half 
hour glass would be turned up ; and that if, when 
its last sands fell, the white flag of surrender were 
not raised upon the fort, the bombardment would be 

The last sands fell and no white flag appeared. 
Instantly the thunder of a cannon echoed over the 
bay, and a storm of iron hail came crashing upon 
the frail fort, killing and wounding a number of men. 
Volley after volley succeeded without any intermis- 
sion. Captain Manning made no attempt to return 
the fire. He and his powerless garrison hurried to 
places of safety, leaving the ramparts to be ploughed 
up and the barracks to be battered down without 
any resistance. 

While this caririohade was going on, the Dutch 
Admirals manned their boats with a land force of 
six hundred men, and they were disembarked upon 
the shore of the island without encountering any 


foe. The little band of English soldiers was pov/er- 
less, and the Dutch inhabitants were much more 
disposed to welcome their countrymen as deliverers 
than to oppose them as enemies. These Dutch 
troops were armed with hand grenades and such 
other weapons as were deemed necessary to take 
the place by storm. Rapidly they marched through 
the fields to the Common, now called the Park. It 
was, as we have mentioned, nearly a mile north from 
the fort. 

Here they formed in column to march upon 
the town, under their leader, Captain Colve. The 
English commander. Captain Manning, sent three 
of his subordinate officers, without any definite 
message, to Captain Colve, to talk over the question 
of a capitulation. It would seem that Captain Man- 
ning was quite incompetent for the post he occupied. 
He was bewildered and knew not what to do. As 
his envoys had no proposals to make, two of them 
were detained and held under the Dutch standard, 
while the third. Captain Carr, was sent back to 
inform the English commander that if in one quar- 
ter of an hour the place were not surrendered, it 
would be taken by storm. In the meantime the 
troops were put upon the march. 

Captain Carr, aware of the indecision of Captain 
Manning and of the personal peril he, as an English 


man, would encounter, with six hundred Dutch 
soldiers sweeping the streets, burning with the desire 
to avenge past wrongs, did not venture back into 
the town with his report, but fled into the interior 
of the island. The troops pressed on to the head 
of Broadway, where a trumpeter was sent forward 
to receive the answer to the summons which it was 
supposed had been made. He speedily returned, 
saying that the commander of the fort had, as yet, 
obtained no answer from the commissioners he had 
sent to receive from the Dutch commander his 

Captain Colve supposed that he was trifled with. 
Indignantly he exclaimed " They are not to play the 
fool with us in this way, forward march." With 
the beat of drums and trumpet peals and waving 
banners his solid columns marched down the Broad- 
way road to the little cluster of about three hundred 
houses, at the extreme southern point of the island. 
An army of six hundred men at that time and place 
presented a very imposing and terrible military 
array. In front of his troops the two commissioners 
who had been detained, were marched under guard. 

As they approached the fort, Captain Manning 
sent another flag of truce to the Dutch commander, 
with the statement that he was ready to surrender 
the fort with all its arms and ammunition, if the 


officers and soldiers were permitted to march out 
with their private property and to the music of their 
band. These terms were acceded to. The English 
troops, with no triumphal strains, vacated the fort. 
The Dutch banners soon waved from the ramparts, 
cheered by the acclaim of the conquerors. 

Captain Manning was, in his turn, as severely 
censured by the people of the English colonies in 
America, and by the home government, as Governor 
Stuyvesant had been on the day of his misfortune. 
English pride was grievously mortified, that the 
commandant of an English fort should allow him- 
self to be fired upon for hours without returning a 

The unfortunate captain was subsequently tried 
by court-martial for cowardice and treachery. He 
was condemned. His sword was broken over his 
head and he was declared incompetent forever to 
hold any station of trust or authority under the 
governmeait. Governor Lovelace was condemned 
for neglect of duty. He received a severe repri- 
mand, and all his property was confiscated to the 
Duke of York. 

The victorious Dutch commanders appointed 
Captain Colve as governor of recaptured New Neth- 
erland. With great energy he commenced his rule. 
The name of New York was changed to New 


Orange, and fort James became fort Hendrick. 
Work was immediately commenced upon the fortifi- 
cations, and large sums of money were expended 
upon them, so that within two months they were 
deemed so strong that it was thought that no 
English fleet would dare to venture within range 
of their guns. The whole city assumed the aspect 
of a military post. Nearly every citizen was trained 
to arms. The Common, now the Park, was the pa- 
rade ground where the troops were daily drilled. It 
was very firmly resolved that the city should not 
again surrender without the firing of a gun. 

The municipal institutions were all re-organized 
to conform to those of the fatherland. This second 
administration of the Dutch was of but short dura- 
tion. On the 9th of January, 1674, but about three 
months after the re-capture of the city, a treaty of 
peace was signed between England and Holland. 
The sixth article of this treaty read as follows, 

" Whatsoever countries, islands, ports, towns, 
castles or forts have been taken on both sides, since 
the time that the late unhappy war broke out, either 
in Europe or elsewhere, shall be restored to the 
former lord or proprietor in the same condition they 
shall be in when peace itself shall be proclaimed." 

Several months however transpired before the 
actual re-surrender of the city to the English. On 


the loth of November, 1674, a little more than one 
year after the capture of the city by the Dutch, 
this change took place. Mr. David V. Valentine 
writes : 

" This event was not distasteful to the great 
body of the citizens, whose national sentiment had, 
in a measure, given way before the obvious 
advantages to their individual interests of hav- 
ing a settled authority established over them, 
with the additional privilege of English institu- 
tions which were then considered of a liberal ten- 

In conclusion, we have but a few words to say 
respecting the manners and customs in the thriving 
little village of New York, in these primitive days. 
People were then, to say the least, as happy as they 
are now. Food was abundant, and New York was 
far-famed for its cordial hospitality. Days of recre- 
ation were more abundant than now. The principal 
social festivals were "quilting," "apple paring." 
and " husking." Birthdays, christenings, and mar- 
riage anniversaries were also celebrated with much 
festivity. Upon most of these occasions there was 
abundant feasting. Dancing was the favorite amuse- 
ment, with which the evening was almost invariably 
terminated. In this busy community the repose of 
the night was necessary to prepare for the labors of 


the ensuing day. The ringing of the nine o'clock 
bell was the signal for all to retire. 

A mild form of negro slavery existed in those 
days. The slaves danced to the music of their rude 
instruments in the markets. The young men and 
maidens often met on the Bowling green and danced 
around the May pole. Turkey shooting was a fa- 
vorite amusement, which usually took place on the 
Common. New Year's Day was devoted to the in- 
terchange of visits. Every door was thrown open, 
and all guests were welcome, friends as well as 
strangers, as at a Presidential levee. This custom 
of olden time has passed down to us from our wor- 
thy Dutch predecessors. Dinner parties were un- 
known. But tea-parties, with the ladies, were very 

" To take tea out,'' writes Mr. William L. Stone, 
in his interesting History of New York, " was a 
Dutch institution, and one of great importance. 
The matrons, arrayed in their best petticoats and lin- 
sey jackets, home-spun by their own wheels, would 
proceed on the intended afternoon visit. They wore 
capacious pockets, with scissors, pin-cushion and 
keys hanging from their girdle, outside of their 
dress ; and reaching the neighbor's house the visit- 
ors industriously used knitting needles and tongues 
at the same time. The village gossip was talked 


over ; neighbors' affairs settled, and the stockings 
finished by tea-time, when the important meal ap- 
peared on the table, precisely at six o'clock. 

" This was always the occasion for the display of 
the family plate, with the Lilliputian cups, of rare 
old family china, out of which the guests sipped the 
fragrant herb. A large lump of loaf sugar invaria- 
bly accompanied each cup, on a little plate, and tiie 
delightful beverage was sweetened by an occasional 
nibble, amid the more solid articles of waffles and 
Dutch doughnuts. The pleasant visit finished, the 
visitors donning cloaks and hoods, as bonnets were 
unknown, proceeded homeward in time for milking 
and other necessary household du^'ies. 

'' The kitchen fire-places were of immense size 
large enough to roast a whole sheep. The hooks 
and trammels sustained large iron pots and kettles. 
In the spacious chimney-corners the children and 
negroes gathered, telling stories and cracking nuts 
by the blazing pine-knots, while the industrious vrows 
turned the merry spinning-wheel, and their lords, 
the worthy burghers, mayhap just returned from an 
Indian scrimmage, quietly smoked their long pipes, 
as they sat watching the wreaths curHng above their 
heads. At length the clock with its brazen tongue 
having proclaimed the hour of nine, family prayers 
were said, and all retired, to rise with the dawn." 


In the summer of 1679, but five years after iLt 
final accession of New Netherland by the English, 
two gentlemen from Holland, as the committee of a 
religious sect, visited the Hudson river, to report 
respecting the condition of the country, and to se- 
lect a suitable place for the establishment of a col- 
ony. They kept a minute journal of their daily ad- 
ventures. From their narrative one can obtain a 
very vivid picture of New York life two hundred 
years ago. 

On Saturday, the 23d day of September, they 
landed at New York, and found it a very strange 
place. A fellow passenger, whose name was Ger- 
ritt, and who was on his return from Europe, resided 
in New York. He took the travellers to the house 
of one of his friends, where they were regaled with 
very luscious peaches, and apples far better than 
any they had seen in Holland. They took a walk 
out into the fields and were surprised to see how 
profusely the orchards were laden with fruit. They 
took up lodgings with the father-in-law of their fel- 
low-traveller, and in the evening were regaled with 
rich milk. The next day was Sunday. 

" We walked awhile," they write, " in the pure 
mountain air, along the margin of the clear running 
water of the sea, which is driven up this river at 
every tide. We went to church and found truly 


there a wild worldly people. I say wild, not only 
because the people are wild, as they call it in Eu- 
rope, but because most all the people who go there, 
partake somewhat of the nature of the country; that 
is peculiar to the land where they live.'' 

The preacher did not please them. " He used 
such strange gestures and language,'' writes one of 
them, " that I think I never in my life heard anything 
more miserable. As it is not strange in these coun- 
tries, to have men as ministers, who drink, we could 
imagine nothing else than that he had been drinking 
a little this morning. His text was Come unto me 
all yc, etc.; but he was so rough that the rough- 
est and most godless of our sailors were aston- 

" The church being in the fort, we had an oppor- 
tunity to look through the latter, as we had come 
too early for preaching. The fort is built upon the 
point formed by the two rivers, namely the East 
river, which is the water running between the Man- 
hattans and Long Island, and the North river, 
which runs straight up to fort Orange. In front of 
the fort there is a small island called Nut Island. 
Around the point of this vessels must sail in going 
out or in, whereby they are compelled to pass close 
by the point of the fort, where they can be flanked 
by several of the batteries. It has only one gate 


and that is on the land side, opening upon a broad 
lane or street, called the Broadway.'' 

They went to church again in the afternoon. 
" After preaching," they write, " the good old people 
with whom we lodged, who, indeed if they were not 
the best on all the Manhattan, were at least among 
the best, especially the wife, begged we would go 
with their son Gerrit, to one of their daughters who 
lived in a delightful place and kept a tavern, where 
we would be able to taste the beer of New Nether- 
land. So we went, for the purpose of seeing what 
was to be seen. But when we arrived there we 
were much deceived. On account of its being, to 
some extent, a pleasant spot, it was resorted to on 
Simdays by all sorts of revellers and was a low pot- 
house. It being repugnant to our feehngs to be 
there, we walked into the orchard, to seek pleasure 
in contemplating the innocent objects of nature. A 
great storm of rain coming up in the evening, we 
retraced our steps in the dark, exploring our way 
through a salt meadow, and over water upon the 
trunk of a tree." 

On Thursday the 26th, our two travellers, at two 
o'clock in the afternoon, crossed East river to visit 
Long Island. The fare in the ferry-boat, which was 
rowed across, was three stivers, less than half a cent 
of our money, for each person. They climbed the 


hill and walked along through an open road and a 
little woods to " the first village, called Breukelen, 
which has a small and ugly little church in the 
middle of the road." The island was then mostly 
inhabited by Indians. There were several flourish- 
ing farms in the vicinity of Brooklyn, which they 
visited and where they were bountifully regaled with 
milk, cider, fruit, tobacco and " first and most of all, 
miserable rum, brought from Barbadoes, and which 
is called by the Dutch kill devil." 

The peach orchards were breaking down beneath 
the burden of luscious fruit. They often could not 
step without trampling upon the peaches, and yet 
the trees were full as they could bear. Though the 
swine were fattened upon them, still large numbers 
perished upon the ground. In the evening they 
went on to a place called Gouanes, where they were 
very hospitably entertained. It was a chill evening, 
and they found a brilliant fire of hickory wood 
crackling upon the hearth. 

" There had already been thrown upon it," they 
write, " a pail full of Gouanes oysters, which are the 
best in the country. They are large, some of them 
not less than a foot long, and they grow, sometimes 
ten, twelve and sixteen together, and are then like 
a piece of rock. We had for supper a roasted 
haunch of venison which weighed thirty pounds, 


and which he had bought of the Indians for fifteen 
cents. The meat was exceedingly tender and good 
and quite fat. We were served also with wild 
turkey, which was also fat and of a good flavor, and 
a wild goose. Everything we had was the natural 
production of the country. We saw lying in a heap, 
a hill of watermelons as large as pumpkins. It was 
late at night when we went to rest, in a Kermis bed, 
as it is called, in the corner of the hearth, alongside 
of a good fire." 

The next morning they threaded their way 
through the forest, and along the shore to the ex- 
treme west end of the island, where fort Hamilton 
now stands. They passed through a large planta- 
tion, of the Najack Indians, which was waving with 
corn. A noise of pounding drew them to a place 
where a very aged Indian woman was beating beans 
out of the pods with a stick, which she did with 
amazing dexterity. Near by was the little cluster 
of houses of the dwindling tribe. The village con- 
sisted of seven or eight huts, occupied by between 
twenty and thirty Indians, men, women and chil- 

These huts were about sixty feet long and fifteen 
wide. The floor was of earth. 'The posts were large 
limbs of trees, planted firmly in the ground. The 
sides were of reeds and the bark of trees. An open 


space, about six inches wide, ran along the whole 
length of the roof, for the passage of smoke. On 
the sides the roof was so low that ajnan could not 
stand under it. 

"They build their fire in the middle of the floor, 
according to the number of families which live in 
the hut ; not only the families themselves, but each 
Indian alone, according as he is hungry, at all hours 
morning, noon and night. They lie upon mats with 
their feet towards the fire. All in one house, are 
generally of one stock, as father and mother, with 
their offspring. Their bread is maize, pounded by a 
stone, which is mixed with water and baked under 
the hot ashes." 

" They gave us a small piece when we entered ; 
and although the grains were not ripe, and it was 
half-baked and coarse grains, we nevertheless had to 
eat it, or at least not throw it away before them, 
which they would have regarded as a great sin, or 
a greaf affront. We chewed a little of it with long 
teeth, and managed to hide it so that they did not 
see it." 

On Wednesday a farmer harnessed his horse 
to a wagon and carried them back to the city. 
The road led through the forest and over very rough 
and stony hills, making the ride quite uncomforta- 
ble. Passing again through the little village of 


Breukelen, they crossed the ferry and reached home 
about noon. On Friday they took an exploring 
tour through the island of Manhattan. Their pleas- 
ant description is worth transcribing. 

" This island is about seven hours distance in 
length, but it is not a full hour broad. The sides 
are indented with bays, coves and creeks. It is al- 
most entirely taken up, that is the land is held by 
private owners, but not half of it is cultivated. 
Much of it is good woodland. The west end, on 
which the city lies, is entirely cleared, for more than 
an hour's distance, though that is the poorest 
ground ; the best being on the east and north side. 
There are many brooks of fresh water running 
through it, pleasant and proper for man and beast 
to drink ; as well as agreeable to behold, affording 
cool and pleasant resting places, but especially suita- 
ble places for the construction of mills, for though 
there is no overflow of water, it can be used. 

" A little east of New Harlaem, there are two 
ridges of very high rocks, with a considerable space 
between them, displaying themselves very majestic- 
ally, and inviting all men to acknowledge in them 
the grandeur, power and glory of the Creator, who 
has impressed such marks upon them. Between 
them runs the road to Spuyt denDuyvel. The one to 
the north is the most apparent. The south ridge is 


covered with earth on its north side, but it can be 
seen from the water or from the mainland beyond 
to the south. The soil between these ridges is very 
good, though a little hilly and stony. It would be 
very suitable, in my opinion, for planting vineyards, 
in consequence of its being shut off on both sides, 
from the winds which would most injure them ; and 
it is very warm. We found blue grapes along the 
road, which were very good and sweet, and as good 
as any I have tasted in the fatherland. 

" We went from the city, following the Broadway, 
over the valley or the fresh water. Upon both sides 
of this way there were many habitations of negroes, 
mulattoes and whites. The negroes were formerly 
the slaves of the West India Company. But, in 
consequence of the frequent changes and conquests 
of the country, they have obtained their freedom, 
and settled themselves down where they thought 
proper, and thus on this road, where they have grown 
enough to live on with their families. We left the 
village called Bowery on the right hand, and went 
through the woods to Harlaem, a tolerably large 
village situated directly opposite the place where the 
northeast creek and the East river come together. 
It is about three hours' journey from New Amster- 

From the account which these gentlemen give, 


the morals of the people certainly do not appear to 
have been essentially better than now. They passed 
the night at the house of the sheriff. " This house 
was constantly filled with people all the time drink- 
ing, for the most part, that execrable rum. He had 
also the best cider we have tasted. Among the 
crowd we found a person of quality, an Englishman, 
named Captain Carteret, whose father is in great 
favor with the king. The king has given his father, 
Sir George Carteret, the entire government of the 
lands west of the North river in New Netherland, 
with power to appoint as governor whom he pleases. 
" This son is a very profligate person. He mar- 
ried a merchant's daughter here, and has so lived 
with his wife that her father has been compelled to 
take her home again. He runs about among the 
farmers and stays where he can find most to drink, 
and sleeps in barns on the straw. If he conducted 
himself properly, he could be, not only governor 
here, but hold higher positions, for he has studied 
the moralities and seems to have been of a good 
understanding. But that is all now drowned. His 
father, who will not acknowledge him as his son, 
allows him yearly as much only as is necessary for 
him to live on." 

Saturday morning they set out from Harlaem 
village to go to the northern extremity of the island. 


" Before we left we did not omit supplying ourselves 
with peaches, which grew in an orchard along the 
road. The whole ground was covered with them 
and with apples lying upon the new grain with 
which the orchard was planted. The peaches were 
the most delicious we had yet eaten. We proceeded 
on our way and when we were not far from the point 
of Spuyt den Duyvel^ we could see on our left the 
rocky cliffs of the mainland, and on the other side 
of the North river these cliffs standing straight up 
and down, with the grain just as if they were anti- 

" We crossed over the Spuyt den Duyvel in a 
canoe, and paid nine stivers fare for us three, which 
was very dear.* We followed the opposite side of 
the land and came to the house of one Valentyn. 
He had gone to the city ; but his wife was so much 
rejoiced to see Hollanders that she hardly knew 
what to do for us. She set before us what she had. 
We left after breakfasting there. Her son showed 
us the way, and we came to a road entirely covered 
with peaches. We asked a boy why he let them lie 
there and why he did not let the hogs eat them. 
He answered 'We do not know what to do with 
them; there are so many. The hogs are satiated with 
them and will not eat any more.' 

♦ Tliis was one cent and a half for the three, or half a cent each. 


" We pursued our way now a small distance, 
through the woods and over the hills, then back 
again along the shore to a point where an English 
man lived, who was standing ready to cross over. 
He carried us over with him and refused to take any 
pay for our passage, offering us at the same time, 
some of his rum, a liquor which is everywhere. We 
were now again at Harlaem, and dined with the 
sheriff, at whose house we had slept the night before. 
It was now two o'clock. Leaving there, we crossed 
over the island, which takes about three-quarters of 
an hour to do, and came to the North river. We 
continued along the shore to the city, where we ar- 
rived in the evening, much fatigued, having walked 
this day about forty miles." 

The rather singular record for the next day, 
which was Sunday, was as follows : " We went at 
noon to-day to hear the English minister, whose ser- 
vice took place after the Dutch service was out. 
There were not above twenty-five or thirty people 
in the church. The first thing that occurred was 
the reading of all their prayers and ceremonies out 
of the prayer-book, as is done in all Episcopal 
churches. A young man then went into the pulpit, 
and commenced preaching, who thought he was per- 
forming wonders. But he had a little book in his 
hand, out of which he read his sermon which was 


about quarter of an hour or half an hour long. 
With this the services were concluded ; at which we 
could not be sufficiently astonished.'' 

Though New York had passed over to British 
rule, still for very many years the inhabitants re- 
mained Dutch in their manners, customs and modes 
of thought. There was a small stream, emptying 
into the East river nearly opposite Blackwell's Isl- 
and. This stream was crossed by a bridge which 
was called Kissing Bridge. It was a favorite drive, 
for an old Dutch custom entitled every gentleman 
to salute his lady with a kiss as he crossed. 

The town wind-mill stood on a bluff within the 
present Battery. Pearl street at that time formed 
the river bank. Both Water street and South street 
have been reclaimed from the river. The city wall 
consisted of a row of palisades, with an embankment 
nine feet high. Upon the bastions of this rampart 
several cannon were mounted. 

The Olden Time. 

Wealth and Rank of the Ancient Families. — Their Vast T^zcded 
Estates. — Distinctions in Dress. — Veneration for the Patrooa. — 
Kip's Mansion. — Days of the Revolution. — Mr. John Adams' 
Journal. — Negro Slavery. — Consequences of the System. — 
General Panic. 

Many of the families who came from the Old 
World to the Hudson when New Netherland was 
under the Dutch regime, brought with them the 
tokens of their former rank and affluence. Valuable 
paintings adorned their walls. Rich plate glittered 
upon their dining table. Obsequious servants, who 
had been accustomed in feudal Europe to regard 
their masters as almost beings of a superior order, 
still looked up to them in the same reverential ser- 
vice. The social distinctions of the old country very 
soon began to prevail in the thriving village of New 
York. The governor was fond of show and was 
fully aware of its influence upon the popular mind. 
His residence became the seat of quite a genteel 
little court. 


" The country was parcelled out,'' writes Rev. 
Bishop Kip, " among great proprietors. We can 
trace them from the city of New Amsterdam to the 
northern part of the State. In what is now the 
thickly populated city were the lands of the Stuyve- 
sants, originally the Bouwerie of the old governor. 
Next above were the grant to the Kip family, called 
Kip's Bay, made in 1638. In the centre of the 
island was the possessions of the De Lanceys. 
Opposite, on Long Island, was the grant of the 
Laurence family. We cross over Harlaem river 
and reach Morrisania, given to the Morris family. 
Beyond this on the East river, was De Lancey's 
farm, another grant to that powerful family ; while 
on the Hudson to the west, was the lower Van 
Courtland manor, and the Phillipse manor. Above, 
at Peekskill, was the upper manor of the Van 
Courtlands. Then came the manor of Kipsburg, 
purchased by the Kip family from the Indians in 
1636, and made a royal grant by governor Dongan 
two years afterwards. 

" Still higher up was the Van Rensselaer manor, 
twenty-four miles by forty-eight ; and above that 
the possession of the Schuylers. Farther west, on 
the Mohawk, were the broad lands of Sir William 
Johnson, created a baronet for his services in the 


old French and Indian wars, who lived in a rude 
magnificence at Johnson Hall." 

" The very names of places in some cases shov^ 
their history. Such for instance, is that of Yonkers. 
The word Younker, in the languages of northern 
Europe, means the nobly born, the gentleman. In 
Westchester, on the Hudson river, still stands the 
old manor house of the Phillipse family. The writer 
remembers in his early days when visiting there, the 
large rooms and richly ornamented ceilings, with 
quaint old formal gardens about the house. When 
before the revolution, Mr. Phillipse lived there, lord 
of all he surveyed, he was always spoken of by his 
tenantry as the Yonker, the gentleman, par excel~ 
lence. In fact he was the only person of social rank 
in that part of the country. In this way the town, 
which subsequently grew up about the old manor 
house, took the name of Yonkers. 

The early settlement of New England was very 
different in its character. Nearly all the emigrants 
were small farmers, upon social equalit)', cultivating 
the fields with their own hands. Governors Carver 
and Bradford worked as diligently with hoe and 
plough as did any of their associates. They were 
simply first among equals. 

" The only exception to this," writes Mr. Kip, 
" which we can remember was the case of the Gardi- 


ners of Maine. Their wide lands were confiscated 
for their loyalty. But on account of some informal- 
ity, after the Revolution, they managed to recover 
their property and are still seated at Gardiner.'' 

For more than a century these distinguished 
families in New Netherland retained their suprema- 
cy undisputed. They filled all the posts of honor 
and emolument. The distinctions in society were 
plainly marked by the dress. The costume of the 
gentleman was very rich. His coat of glossy velvet 
was lined with gold lace. His flowing sleeves and 
ruffled cuffs gave grace to all the movements of his 
arms and hands. Immense wigs adorned his brow 
with almost the dignity of Olympian Jove. A glit- 
tering rapier, with its embossed and jewelled scab- 
bard, hung by his side. 

The common people in New Netherland, would 
no more think of assuming the dress of a gentleman 
or lady, than with us, a merchant or mechanic would 
think of decorating himself in the dress of a Major- 
General in the United States army. There was an 
impassable gulf between the peasantry and the aris- 
tocracy. The laborers on these large Dutch estates 
were generally poor peasants, who had been brought 
over by the landed proprietors, passage free. They 
were thus virtually for a number of years, slaves of 
the patroon, serving him until, by their labor, they 


had paid for their passage money. In the language 
of the day they were called Redemptioncrs. Often 
the term of service of a man, who had come over 
with his family, amounted to seven years. 

" This system," writes Mr. Kip, '■ was carried out 
to an extent of which most persons are ignorant. 
On the Van Rensselaer manor, there were at one 
time, several thousand tenants, and their gathering 
was lilce that of the Scottish clans. V/hcn a mem- 
ber of the family died they came down to Albany 
to do honor at the funeral, and many were the 
hogsheads of good ale which were broached for them. 
They looked up to the Patroon with a reverence 
which was still lingering in the writer's early day, 
notwithstanding the inroads of democracy. And 
before the Revolution this feeling was shared by 
the whole country. When it was announced, in 
New York, a century ago, that the Patroon was 
coming down from Albany by land, the day he was 
expected to reach the city, crowds turned out to 
see him enter in his coach and four. 

The aristocratic Dutchmen cherished a great con- 
tempt for the democratic Puritans of New England. 
One of the distinguished members of a colonial fam- 
ily in New York, who died in the year 1 740, insert- 
ed the following clause in his will : 

" It is my wish that my son may have the best 


education that is to be had in England or America. 
But my express will and directions are, that he 
never be sent for that purpose, to the Connecticut 
colonies, lest he should imbibe in his youth, that 
low craft and cunning, so incidental to the people 
of that country, which is so interwoven in their con- 
stitutions, that a;ll their acts cannot disguise it from 
the world ; though many of them, under the sancti- 
fied garb of religion, have endeavored to impose 
themselves on the world as honest men." 

Usually once in a year the residents in their im- 
posing manorial homes repaired, from their rural re- 
treats, to New York to make their annual purchas- 
es. After the country passed into the hands of the 
English, several men of high families came over. 
These all held themselves quite aloof from the 
masses of the people. And there was no more 
disposition among the commonalty to claim equality 
with these high-born men and dames, than there 
was in England for the humble farmers to deny 
any social distinction between themselves and the 
occupants of the battlemented castles which over- 
shadowed the peasant's lowly cot. 

Lord Cornbury was of the blood royal. The 
dress and etiquette of courts prevailed in his spa- 
cious saloons. " About many of their old country 
houses, ' writes Mr. Kip, " were associations gather- 


ed often coming down from the first settlement of 
the country, giving them an interest which can 
never invest the new residences of those whom lat- 
er times elevated through wealth. Such was the 
Van Courtland manor-house, with its wainscotted 
room and guest chamber ; the Rensselaer manor- 
house, where of old had been entertained Talley- 
rand, and the exiled princes from Europe ; the 
Schuyler house, so near the Saratoga battle-field, 
and marked by memories of that glorious event 
in the life of its owner ; and the residence of 
the Livingstons, on the banks of the Hudson, 
of which Louis Philippe expressed such grate- 
ful recollections when, after his elevation to the 
throne, he met, in Paris, the son of his former 

At Kip's Bay there was a large mansion which 
for two centuries attracted the admiration of behold- 
ers. It was a large double house with the addition 
of a wing. From the spacious hall, turning to the 
left, you entered the large dining-saloon. The two 
front windows gave you a view of the beautiful bay. 
The two rear windows opened upon a pleasant rural 
landscape. In this dining-room a large dinnerparty 
was held, in honor of Andre the day before he set 
out upon his fatal excursion to West Point. In Sar- 
gent's, " Life of Andre," we find a very interesting 


description of this mansion, and of the scenes wit- 
nessed there in olden time. 

" Where now in New York is the unalluring and 
crowded neighborhood of Second avenue and Thir- 
ty-fifth street, stood, in 1780, the ancient Bowerie or 
country seat of Jacobus Kip. Built in 1655, of 
bricks brought from Holland, encompassed by pleas- 
ant trees and in easy view of the sparkling waters 
of Kip's Bay, on the East river, the mansion remain- 
ed, even to our own times, in the possession of one 
of its founder's line. 

"When Washington was in the neighborhood, 
Kip's house had been his quarters. When Howe 
crossed from Long Island on Sunday, September 
15th, 1776, he debarked at the rocky point hard by, 
and his skirmishers drove our people from their po- 
sition behind the dwelling. Since then it had 
known many guests. Howe, Clinton, Kniphausen, 
Percy were sheltered by its roof. The aged owner, 
with his wife and daughter, remained. But they 
had always an officer of distinction quartered with 
them. And if a part of the family were in arms for 
Congress, as is alleged, it is certain that others were 
active for the Crown. 

" Samuel Kip, of Kipsburg, led a cavalry troop 
of his own tenantry, with great gallantry, in De Lan- 
cey's regiment. And despite severe wounds, sur- 


vived long after the war, a heavy pecuniary sufferer 
by the cause which, with most of the landed gentry 
of New York, he had espoused. 

" In 1780, it was held by Colonel Williams, of 
the 80th royal regiment. And here, on the evening 
of the 19th of September, he gave a dinner to Sir 
Henry Clinton and his staff, as a parting compliment 
to Andre. The aged owner of the house was pres- 
ent ; and when the Revolution was over he describ- 
ed the scene and the incidents of that dinner. At 
the table Sir Henry Clinton announced the depart- 
ure of Andre next morning, on a secret and most 
important expedition, and added, ' Plain John An- 
dre will come back Sir John Andre.' 

" How brilliant soever the company," Mr. Sar- 
gent adds, "how cheerful the repast, its memory 
must ever have been fraught with sadness to both 
host and guests. It was the last occasion of Andre's 
meeting his comrades in life. Four short days gone, 
the hands, then clasped by friendship, were fettered 
by hostile bonds. Yet nine days more and the 
darling of the army, the youthful hero of the hour, 
had dangled from a gibbet." 

For two hundred and twelve years this mansion 
of venerable memories remained. Then it was 
swept away by the resistless tide of an advancing 
population. The thronged pavements of Thirty- 


fifth street now pass over the spot, where two centu- 
ries ago the most illustrious men crowded the ban- 
queting hall, and where youth and beauty met in 
the dance and song. In view of these ravages of 
time, well may we exclaim in the impressive words 
of Burke, " What shadows we are and what shadows 
we pursue." 

In the year 1774, John Adams rode from Boston 
to Philadelphia on horseback, to attend the first 
meeting of Congress. His journal contains an 
interesting account of this long and fatiguing tour. 
Coming from the puritanic simplicity of Boston, he 
was evidently deeply impressed with the style and 
splendor which met his eye in New York. In glow- 
ing terms he alludes to the elegance of their mode 
of living, to the architectural grandeur of their 
country seats ; to the splendor of Broadway, and to 
the magnificent new church they were building, 
which was to cost one hundred thousand dollars. 

The aristocratic families of New York were 
generally in favor of the Crown. They were not 
disposed to pay any special attention to a delegate 
to the democratic Congress. He had therefore no 
opportunity of witnessing the splendor of these 
ancient families. Two lawyers who had become 
wealthy by their professional labors, received him 
with honor. At their breakfast tables he beheld dis- 


play, common enough in almost every genteel 
household at the present day, but to which he was 
quite unaccustomed in his frugal home at Quincy. 
One cannot but be amused in reading the following 
description of one of his entertainments : 

" A more elegant breakfast I never saw ; rich 
plate ; a very large silver coffee pot ; a very large 
silver tea pot ; napkins of the very finest materials ; 
toast and bread and butter in great perfection. 
After breakfast a plate of beautiful peaches, another 
of pears and a muskmelon were placed on the 

The Revolution proved the utter ruin of these 
great landed proprietors, who naturally espoused the 
cause of the British court. The habits of life to 
which they and their fathers had been accustomed 
necessarily rendered all the levelling doctrines of the 
Revolution offensive to them. They rallied around 
the royal banners and went down with them. 

Some few of the landed proprietors espoused the 
cause of the people. Among others may be men- 
tioned the Livingstons and the Schuylers, the Jays, 
the Laurences, and a portion of the Van Courtlands, 
and of the Morris family. Fortunately for the 
Patroon Van Rensselaer, he was a minor, and thus 
escaped the peril of attaching himself to eithei 


Negro slavery in a mild form prevailed in these 
early years in New York. The cruel and accursed 
system had been early introduced into the colony. 
Most of the slaves were domestic servants, very few 
being employed in the fields. They were treated 
with personal kindness. Still they were bondmen, 
deprived of liberty, of fair wages, and of any chance 
of rising in the world. Such men cannot, by any 
possibility, be contented with their lot. Mr. Wil- 
liam L. Stone, in his very interesting History of 
New York, writes : 

" As far back as 1628, slaves constituted a por- 
tion of the population of New Amsterdam ; and to 
such an extent had the traffic in them reached that, 
in 1709, a slave market was erected at the foot of 
Wall street, where all negroes who were to be hired 
or sold, stood in readiness for bidders. Their intro- 
duction into the colony was hastened by the colo- 
nial establishment of the Dutch in Brazil and upon 
the coast of Guinea, and also by the capture of 
Spanish and Portuguese prizes with Africans on 

" Several outbreaks had already happened among 
the negroes of New Amsterdam ; and the whites 
lived in constant anticipation of trouble and danger 
from them. Rumors of an intended insurrection 
real or imaginary, would circulate, as in the negro 


plot of 1712, and the whole city be thrown into a 
state of alarm. Whether there was any real danger 
on these occasions, cannot now be known. But the 
result was always the same. The slaves always suf- 
fered, many dying by the fagot or the gallows." 

In the year 1741, a terrible panic agitated the 
whole city in apprehension of an insurrection of the 
slaves. The most cruel laws had been passed to 
hold them firmly in bondage. The city then con- 
tained ten thousand inhabitants, two thousand of 
whom were slaves. If three of these, " black seed 
of Cain," were found together, they were liable 
to be punished by forty lashes on the bare back. 
The same punishment was inflicted upon a slave 
found walking with a club, outside of his master's 
grounds without a permit. Two justices could in- 
flict any punishment, except amputation or death, 
upon any slave who should make an assault upon 
a Christian or a Jew. 

A calaboose or jail for slaves stood on the Park 
Common. Many of the leading merchants in New 
York were engaged in the slave trade. Several fires 
had taken place, which led to the suspicion that the 
slaves had formed a plot to burn the city and mas- 
sacre the inhabitants. The panic was such that the 
community seemed bereft of reason. A poor, weak, 
half-crazed servant-girl, Mary Burton, in a sailor's 


boarding house, testified, after much importunity, 
that she had overheard some negroes conferring re- 
specting setting the town on fire. 

At first she confined her accusations to the 
blacks. Then she began to criminate white people, 
bringing charges against her landlord, his wife and 
other white persons in the household. In a History 
of this strange affair written at the time, by Daniel 
Horsmanden, one of the Justices of the Supreme 
Court, we read, 

" The whole summer was spent in the prosecu- 
tions. A coincidence of slight circumstances was 
magnified, by the general terror, into violent pre- 
sumptions. Tales collected without doors, mingling 
with the proofs given at the bar, poisoned the 
minds of the jurors, and this sanguinary spirit of 
the day suffered no check until Mary, the capital in- 
former, bewildered by the frequent examinations 
and suggestions, began to touch characters which 
malice itself dare not suspect.'' 

During this period of almost insane excitement, 
thirteen negroes were burned at the stake, eighteen 
were hanged, and seventy transported. 

I cannot conclude this treatise upon the olden 
time better than by quoting the eloquei t words of 
Mr. Kip : 

" The dress, which had for generations been the 


sign and symbol of a gentleman, gradually waned 
away, till society reached that charming state of 
equality in which it became impossible, by any out- 
ward costume, to distinguish masters from servants. 
John Jay says, in one of his letters, that with small 
clothes and buckles the high tone of society de- 
parted. In the writer's early day this system of the 
past was just going out. Wigs and powder and 
queues, breeches and buckles, still lingered among 
the older gentlemen, vestiges of an age which was 
vanishing away. 

" But the high toned feeling of the last century 
was still in the ascendant, and had pot yet suc- 
cumbed to the worship of mammon, which charac- 
terizes this age. There was still in New York a 
reverence for the colonial families, and the prominent 
political men, like Duane, Clinton, Colden, Raddiff, 
Hoffman cind Livingston, were generally gentlemen, 
both by birth and social standing. The time had 
not yet come when this was to be an objection to an 
individual in a political career. The leaders were 
men whose names were historical in the State, and 
they influenced society. The old families still 
formed an association among themselves, and inter- 
married, one generation after another. Society was 
therefore very restricted. The writer remembers 
in his childhood, when he went out with his father 


for his afternoon drive, he knew every carriage they 
met on the avenues. 

" The gentlemen of that day knew each othei 
well, for they had grown up together and their 
associations in the past were the same. Yet, what 
friendships for after-life did these associations form ! 
There was, in those days, none of the show and glit- 
ter of modern times. But there was, with many of 
these families, particularly with those who had 
retained their landed estates and were still living in 
their old family homes, an elegance which has never 
been rivalled in other parts ot the country. In his 
early days the writer has been much at the South , 
has staid at Mount Vernon when it was held by 
the Washingtons ; with Lord Fairfax's family, 
at Ashgrove and Vancluse; but he has never 
elsewhere seen such elegance of living as was 
formerly exhibited by the old families of New 

" One thing is certain, that there was a high tone 

prevailing at that time, which is now nowhere to be 

seen. The community then looked up to public 

men, with a degree of reverence which has never 

been felt by those who have succeeded them. They 

were the last of a race which does not now exist. 

With them died the stateliness of colonial times. 

Wealth came in and created a social distinction 


which took the place of family; and thus society 
became vulgarized. 

" The influences of the past are fast vanishing 
away, and our children will look only to the shadowy 
future. The very rule by which we estimate individ- 
uals has been entirely altered. The inquiry once 
was, ' Who is he ? ' Men now ask the question, 
• How much is he worth ? ' Have we gained by the 
change ? "